Monday, May 15, 2017

Alexander County Library's First Poetry After Hours Is Awesome!


Teen Poetry Happens members Hunter Addington, Noah Nowell, and Courtney Gant read the collaborative poem "Ask Me What I Remember" on April 21, 2017 at Alexander County Library.

“Ask Me What I Remember” Crafted by Teen Poetry Happens from written memories on the poetry wall, “Ask Me What I Remember – Images of Perseverance”, March 10, 2017

Friday nights at Mamaw’s house
Grandma playing piano by ear
My mama singing, snow at Christmas
Telling stories about childhood

Grass and caterpillars in my baseball glove
Playing in the spring,
Sliding at the shoals,
Climbing Rocky Face Mountain

I remember when I was scared
Ice had ripped my skin while sledding
Mercurochrome
Screaming “I’m dying, I’m dying!”

AM radio
Choke knobs on the dash
Crazy midnight adventures
All by a redhead’s side

Scared drivers,
Afraid of possibly sick children,
Provoked to drive quickly away
At their approach.

Roasting marshmallows
When it was chilly
Before computers took
Over our lives

My brother was born,
My sister was born
And we just keep on living
Hope to build a better tomorrow

















Thanks to all who came and shared their poetic works! 

The next Art After Hours reception featuring works by Ethan Swanson is Friday, May 19 at Alexander County Library.  Come by between 6 - 7:30 pm and be inspired to write something about his whimsical art pieces!  The next Poetry After Hours will be in June.

Hope to see you soon at Alexander County Library!

Mel

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Alexander Muse Debuts With Fantastic New Crop of Creative Teens

Keyley Sigmon garnered the front cover of the 2017 Alexander Muse with "Majesty'.
Novia Shoup's dramatic photograph "Undulate" won first place and the back cover the The Alexander Muse.



 Alexander Friends of the Library sponsored the reception that was free and open to the public at Reformation Lutheran Church in Taylorsville.




Chayton Chumley snagged 1st Place Prose with his moving piece "That Dragon, Cancer". 
Published students and coordinators photographed at the reception: (front row, left to right) Tessla Patterson, Rhiannon Griffith, Novia Shoup, Shelby Corriher, Hunter Addington, Alexander Muse Coordinator Robbin Isenhour Stewart. (Back row) Alexander Muse Coordinator Mel Hager, Kasey Wood, Ashley Woodie, Chayton Chumley, Janah Bucknum, Reid Coffey, Keyley Sigmon, Bryce Bowman, Alyssa Collins, Gracie Norton, Courtney Gant, and Alexander Muse Coordinator Beth Duncan. Not pictured: Tatiana Pierre, Caroline Erkman, Daniel Ervin, Ryan Masnicki, Tou Vang, Jacavian Voss, and Caleb Williams. 

Congratulations to all the published students!  


The Alexander Muse wishes to thank: Alexander Friends of the Library, Reformation Lutheran Church, Micah Henry and The Taylorsville Times, the judges, assistant Courtney Gant, and reception assistants, Sarah Fox and Autumn Pennell. Many thanks also to those who donated prizes to support the students and the arts.
1st Place Art - Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Art – Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center
3rd Place Art – Linda Merry Parker, Local Potter with Mery Pottins

1st Place Photography – Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Photography – Suzanne Williams, REALTOR®, Coldwell Banker Boyd & Hassell
3rd Place Photography - Jacqueline Moose - Independent Jamberry Consultant

1st Place Prose – Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Prose – The United Way of Alexander County
3rd Place Prose – Dale and Dianne White with Draggin W Farm

1st Place Poetry – Alexander Friends of the Library
2nd Place Poetry – Maskcara Beauty, Amanda Parker, Independent Artist
3rd Place Poetry - Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center

Judges for the 2017 edition: ART – Ellen Ball, Meredith Janssen, and Laura Crooks; PROSE – James Ford, LaRonya Teague, and Deborah Reynolds; POETRY – Beverly Finney, Doug McHargue, and Bud Caywood; PHOTOGRAPHY – C. Joe Young, Carol Anne Hartman, and Chad Ritchie.
The magazine is a collaborative effort of Alexander County Library and Alexander County Schools.  Submissions are currently accepted for consideration to be in the 2018 edition.  Email digital entries of poetry, prose, and photography to thealexandermuse@gmail.com . Art items should be entered at the library or to Robbin Isenhour Stewart at Alexander Central High School. High school students from Alexander County, regardless of educational institution, are eligible to enter.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Poetry and More To Finish Out April

The Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine will debut its 8th edition on Tuesday, April 25 at Reformation Lutheran Church in Taylorsville.  The reception, sponsored by Alexander Friends of the Library, will begin at 3:30 pm with a page by page reveal for the audience.  The reception is free and open to the public.

Alexander County Library has been celebrating all week (April 17-21) for its 50th Anniversary and it will culminate in an afternoon of food, face painting, pet rock making, and a lipsync battle between staff and teen volunteers!  Join us from 2 - 5 pm for the fun.

Then, at 6 pm as the library closes, our scene will become a poetry den for the first Poetry After Hours event.  An open mic invites poets of all ages to share works or even read poems of other poets.  Teen Poetry Happens will read their poem crafted from words collected on the March Art After Hours poetry wall.  Food, fun, and free!  Join us!

And don't forget, Alexander County's own RockyFest at Rocky Face Mountain Park will be on Saturday.  I'll be the emcee all day introducing amazing music from 10 am - 6 pm. Stop by and say howdy!!

Mel

Friday, April 7, 2017

Joyce Hostetter Inspires Many at Alexander County Library Programs




On March 5, 2017, the public was invited to hear NC author, Joyce Moyer Hostetter, speak on her newest novel, AIM. The book is a prequel in the Bakers Mountain Stories series which includes the beloved book, BLUE.




Library teen volunteers, Maia Southers and Courtney Gant, helped with setup, service, and cleanup. Also assisting was Hunter Jamison (not pictured).  I thank them so much for their help!






The reception was held at Reformation Lutheran Church in Taylorsville. Alexander Friends of the Library sponsored the event.







Alexander Friends of the Library President, Glenn Mays, welcomed the audience which came to hear Joyce Hostetter.











Alexander Friends of the Library also purchased one copy of AIM for each school in the county. Mrs. Hostetter signed them as well as others she had available for purchase. Thank you, Friends, for all you did for the library and the schools with this event!





I had my hair dyed blue. How I do love these books! And this author!











On Friday evening, March 10, Alexander County Library held its Art After Hours with the new exhibit, "Ask Me What I Remember: Images of Perseverance". Local photographers were encouraged to recreate scenes from BLUE or scenes reminiscent of their pasts.  A poetry wall gave reception attendees the opportunity to share memories in print.













Joyce Hostetter (left) chats with Alexander County resident and polio survivor, Fleeta Mayes, at Art After Hours.






Library Board Trustee chair, Miranda Burgin, welcomed the audience for the event celebrating local photographers and Joyce Hostetter's work that has inspired so many.






At the April 21, 2017 Poetry after Hours event, Teen Poetry Happens will share their poem pieced together from imagery collected on the poetry wall.  Area poets will also be encouraged to attend and share their works about the current exhibit or other works in an open mic. The reception and poetry readings will go from 6 - 7:30 pm at Alexander County Library.

Hope to see you soon at Alexander County Library!

Love, 
Mel

Friday, February 17, 2017

Teen Poetry Happens Celebrates Valentine's Day With "Leftover Love"


Teen Poetry Happens met on the official day of love and the TPH teens were good sports! I gave them leftover sugar cookies and decorations from the Storytime Valentine's program I had earlier in the day.  The students were game to decorate, eat, and write. How perfect!












Our exercise asked the students to write a piece called "Leftover Love." Then we extricated favorite phrases from individual poems to create a collaborative one.  Here is the final result:


"Leftover Love" by Teen Poetry Happens - Feb 2017

Leftover love is like
a half-eaten sucker
offered by a toddler.
Even broken old teacups
can be turned into mosaics.
Say yes to love; the reserves
of our emotional exertions
thrown into what defines us.
Love - never-ending pieces
of hope - only ends
in dreams forgotten.
Take these leftovers,
make a love casserole.
For without love -
all forms of love -
where would we be?

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Alexander Muse Accepting Submissions From Alexander County Teens


Calling all Alexander County high school students! The 8th edition of The Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine is accepting submissions of art, poetry, short story prose, and photography through February 28, 2017 to be considered to be published.  

The contest is open to all high school students from Alexander County regardless of educational institution, including home school.  It is free to submit and students may enter as many items in as many categories as they wish.  They may only place in one category.  Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be awarded.

The magazine will debut at a reception sponsored by Alexander Friends of the Library on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at Reformation Lutheran Church in the fellowship hall.  The reception will begin at 3:30 and is free and open to the public.

I look forward to seeing awesome teen talent!  For more information on submission guidelines, click here!

Mel

Friday, February 3, 2017

Alexander County Library WEEB Club Off To A Great Start

Alexander Central High School senior, Chance Iddles, wanted a really cool senior project product.  He created one by forming the first Anime Manga club at the library.  The group is open to 8th grade to college freshmen.

The first meeting was on November 17, 2016 and they have rolled on in the months following.  The new club members - who call themselves the WEEB Club - immediately put together a plan to attend a local Comic-con in Concord, NC called Ichibancon in late December.  I asked the Alexander Friends of the Library if they would like to sponsor the club's trip.  They did - including providing food and buying the tickets - with the county providing transportation.

Senior Daniel Smith, a devoted anime content reader, watcher, and creator - had always dreamed of attending a convention, but never had the opportunity to go.  "I am soooo ready for my first con!" he shared on Facebook.


The teens got to listen to anime and manga artists, authors, and participate at panels on different types of the Japanese form of multi-media.

The best part was seeing all the other people from young to old who dressed in favorite character attire.  "It was amazing to be there," said Daniel Smith, who took many selfies with fellow convention goers.




The next Ichibancon will be January 11-14, 2018 and WEEB Club will plan to make that trip.

WEEB Club meets every third Thursday of the month at 3:30 pm at the library.  Call me at the library - or stop - by if you would like join in the fun!

Mel