About Jake

Jake is a writer and spoken word poet.  He's had a love affair with words since his early childhood.  His work covers everything from humor to philosophy and theology, and various combinations thereof.  For him, poetry is an overflow of life. 

A closet poet for the most part until recently, Jake got his start at his church, and has since gone on to perform at events from Iowa to Nevada, and was was honored to take part in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 National Cowboy Poetry Gatherings.

His performances are highly animated and engaging.  He loves performing his own work, as well as reciting classic poetry.  He credits the great cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell, with whom he was recently honored to perform,  for introducing him to the oral tradition and igniting his love for the spoken word. 

A Colorado native, Jake now lives near Kearney, Nebraska with the greatest wife on Planet Earth and their four energetic young children.

I have been taking part in Cowboy poetry gatherings for twenty-five years and I am excited to see the young poet Jake Riley come on board. Jake will serve as a vital link in taking the craft of cowboy poetry to the next generation.”

— R.P. Smith, Cowboy Poet and Humorist

Jake Riley is a gifted, thoughtful artist who speaks to the greatest longings and deepest sorrows we all face. He is a writer and orator whose spoken word performances have encouraged me and thousands of others. At the church I lead, his performances have repeatedly touched people in a way my sermons never could. I’ve personally found him to be that rare artist, whose poetry connects with people who are artistically inclined, while also speaking to men and women who are not trained in the fine arts. Perhaps most significantly, I’ve found that his poetry articulates the emotions and longings of ordinary men—in a way that guys wish they could express themselves. Jake’s humility and authenticity come thru in his art. He’s got a gift that God is using to provoke and encourage many.”

— Adrian Boykin, Lead Pastor - Kearney Efree Church