Beautiful Minds: David Nelson

David Neslson

David Nelson, 65, began storytelling in elementary school. With each “elaborate lie” he told on the playground, David was able to draw his friends into his stories. In high school, David fell in love with writing adding another piece to his storytelling abilities.

Despite his passion for storytelling, David began his career as a physical therapist. During this time he wrote for many international and national journals, magazines, and other publications about preventing injuries while engaging in equestrian activities.

In 1994, when he was a member of the Central Florida Speakers Association and National Speakers Association David took his storytelling talents to a wider audience. He traveled with these organizations, speaking about his life experiences.

Soon after, David found himself working for a cattle company and began reciting cowboy poetry. It was at a Christmas party where David discovered this unique form of storytelling. Cowboy poetry is a special form of poetry which grew out of a tradition of spoken words carried on by workers on cattle drives and ranches.

David’s enthusiasm for cowboy poetry took him to the National Cowboy Symposium where he has performed his comedy sketch, Cowboy Comedy Hour. David has opened shows for country music stars Tammy Wynette, Billy Ray Cyrus and many others. He has also headlined his own show.

In 2004, the Governor and General Assembly of Tennessee gave David the honor of becoming Tennessee’s first Cowboy Poet Laureate. This lifetime appointment makes David an ambassador for Tennessee as he entertains across the country.

As an author, story teller, and poet, David’s works are fueled by his passion to spread child abuse awareness. As a victim himself, David finds telling his story to others cathartic. “You don’t have to own a horse or be a cowboy to be a cowboy poet,” David says as he finds inspiration from different life experiences and by keeping up with current events.

For others who are hoping to live a long and productive life David says, “Suck the marrow out of life.” He accomplishes this by staying busy. David is currently working on a book of poems and a book of short stories. He tries to learn new things as often as he can by taking local classes in basket weaving, pottery, and soap making.

David also creates stained glass windows with his wife. He devotes time to his physical health and meditates daily. David also says that doing something good for others makes him happy and even reduces his stress.