Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Teen Poetry Happens - Feeling Grateful

Teen Poetry Happens met on November 15 and was in a grateful mindset.  Here are their creative works!

“Grateful” by Courtney Gant

I’m grateful for expression – the art of getting it from the brain to the page.

I’m grateful for the way the air smells in the fall of the year, the falling of the leaves, the chill of the air.

I’m grateful for warm socks, flannel shirts, and the way a cup of tea makes you feel.

I’m grateful for relatable music, art, and successful expression.

I’m grateful for free speech, for the ability to come together with others, for choker necklaces, and for good vibe places.

I’m grateful for chaos when my world is dull, and for silence when my world is loud.

“Light” by Noah Nowell

I’ve seen light in your eyes

Symbolizing the hope in the moment of victory

I am thankful for the light

“Teddy Chubbs” by Chayton Chumley

I am grateful for my dog. He literally is the best thing to have happened to me, ever. We got him when I was nine and he’s been the best dog since.

Once, when I was thirteen, a pitbull escaped my neighbor’s yard. My tiny, eight pound Teddy Chubbs protected my six year old sister. He almost died and now has PTSD. But, thankfully for me and my family, he is still alive.

“Grateful” by Gracie Norton

Gerard Way

Rad Music

Andy Biersack

The Walking Dead

Eat all the Food

Fall Out Boy

Understanding People


“Grateful for Love” by Nolan Ritchie

Love reveals itself in multiple ways

In the potter toward his clay

In a friend who is with you to the end

In a dog’s tail

when even as an owner you fail

In your family’s care

In God, who is love

and knows every hair

It is important to forever remember

you are loved and you are not alone.

“Grateful Julia” by Julia Webb



Any kind of art

The will to wake up in the morning

Evening Sky

Full Bookshelves

Unique Sweaters

Long walks

“Song” by Janah Bucknum



Newly blooming


“Janah’s Observation” by Janah Bucknum

Inspiration is

Motivational to the

More Artistic minds

“Grateful Janah” by Janah Bucknum

Little brothers always

Listen to

Annoyingly catchy songs

Cats wait for me

To swing the light

Prism, chasing the rainbows

Plants all over the window

Candles on the sill

Wearing silly costumes,

‘cause if I don’t, who will?

 “Thankful Margee” by Margee Dunbar

I am constantly thankful for the freedom to express my vocabulary and inspiration in the form of poetry and books.  And, of course, read other amazing art, which is quickly accepted as good.  I am also thankful for my family and friends, now to write the poem. This was my inspiration.

thankfulness is good

it lets us get through our day

without want for more

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Teen Poetry Happens Composes First Poem For The Year and Visits Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center for "Love Is..."

Teen Poetry Happens heads to the Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center today, October 11, to select favorite phrases from the "Love Is..." wall we had at the Hiddenite Celebration Festival on September 24, 2016. Festival goers wrote their ideas of love all through the day on the wall.   Stay tuned for the resulting poem we will craft.

It is a Teen Poetry Happens tradition to compose the first poem of the school year together. The subject? Why we are TPH; how each of us fits in.  At our first meeting on September 20, students created I AM statements.  Here is the final poem gleaned from it.  Enjoy!

“TPH, I Am”
by Teen Poetry Happens, September 20, 2016

I am awkward, goofy, a little bit quirky.
I am important, yet quiet.
I am eager to learn, free-spirited, the art and the artist.
I am loud.
I am a frantic compass of fleeting thoughts, a reservoir untapped by man.

I see hurting, hatred, brokenness.
I see emptiness, ignorance, and a chaotic stillness.
I see beauty, grace, and a tree with many names.
I see inspiration and love.
I see all colors – life in astounding beauty.

I want love, a world free of war.
I want to see others be friendly, healthy, and happy.
I want a stable future within sight for those who pursue artistic freedom.
I want to create out loud, all over, everywhere.
I want people to know my name.

I am persuasive, sarcastic, and ambitious - not in money, not in fame, but to bring a better life.
I see bright futures in those who won’t let mediocrity dim the lights.
I want to capture the vast glory in the world around me.
I want to take a journey, through thick and thin, literary or visual, to peace.

We should dare to find it.

Monday, September 19, 2016

On Your Mark, Get Set...READ! A Great Success at Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch

Alexander County’s libraries were running, hopping, and hiking this summer with “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!” - the summer reading program which ran from June 19 -  August 6, 2016.  629 Alexander County youth signed up for the program and over 1300 people attended program events.  A record breaking 14,142 hours of reading were reported to the libraries by participants.

Alexander County Library’s Photo Scavenger Hunt team for the National Teen Lock-in GAME ON event won the nation with creative poses and team building. Congratulations to the team for great work!

Many people and organizations were crucial to assist Alexander County Library and Bethlehem branch with the summer program.  The library wishes to thank:  Alexander and Bethlehem Friends of the Library; Marea Parson; Reformation Lutheran Church; therapy dog, Abby, and her mommy, Kim Hertzler; Alicia Addington;  Alisha Stamey and staff of Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area; Sherry Williams and staff with Alexander County Schools Food Program; Christine Deal and Alexander Central Auditorium; Mindy Severt and NC Cooperative Extension; Sparky and Firehouse Subs; State Library of North Carolina; National Teen Lock-in ;  Collaborative Summer Library Program; and all of the volunteers who help create and maintain the program through the summer.
Big Me, Little Me had parents/caregivers and young patrons moving and shaking during the summer reading program.  Thanks to Marea Parson for offering to do this awesome program for the library.  And thanks to Reformation Lutheran Church for allowing us to use their fellowship hall. 

Our reading therapy dog, Abby, had many readers through the summer.  Many thanks to her and her mommy, Kim Hertzler, for sharing their time with us - for summer and when she returns September 26 on most Mondays throughout the school year.

Always a good time at Preschool Storytimes!  Thanks, Rachel Hollingsworth, for the fun photo!

The “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!” theme was through the Collaborative Summer Library Program.  The collaborative assists public libraries to encourage summer reading for students. CSLP provides themed material and art work at a low cost.  Many states and municipalities in the U.S. participate in the collaborative.

Next year’s theme will be “Build A Better World” and will be construction and architecture based.  The program will run June 18 – July 29, 2017 so mark those calendars!

School is back in session, but don't forget the public library for all your literary and technology needs! Teens have Teen Poetry Happens beginning Tuesday, September 20 at 3:30 pm at Reformation Lutheran Church. 

Hope to see you soon!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

On Your Mark, Get Set...READ! Summer Reading 2016 at Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch

I'm amazed how fast summer gets here!  Summer reading is just around the corner and we have an action packed one full of programs for body, mind, and hilarity.

All details are on the library's website under Youth Services and the Summer Reading tab.  Click here for the link.  

There you will also find locations for free meals available in the county throughout the summer.

You can sign up through email, Facebook, or best yet, stop by the library.  Keep up with your reading time and report it to me the same way.

Email Miss Mel -

Call - 828-632-4058

or Facebook - Mel Hager

All I need is: the name of child (birth - 18 years old);  age (or rising grade if in school); contact number, Facebook name, or email address; and what color of star the youth wants.

The program runs June 19 - August 6, 2016.  Sign up and be ready to On Your Mark, Get Set...READ!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

April - Month of Poetry, Art, Lock-In, and Alexander Muse Debut

Can you say, "Whew!"?  If I survive this month I will earn that right.  Many, many activities around our library going on in April and I hope you will join us if you can!

First up is the final installment of The Hunger Games Lock-in on Friday evening, April 15 from 5:30 pm - 11 pm.  This is the 4th year we have locked 7th -12th grade teens in the library to watch movies, dress as favorite Hunger Games characters, and play games like Minute to Win It.  You must reserve your spot, so contact me at the library at 828-632-4058, if you'd like to attend.

The 7th edition of The Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine will debut on April 19 at Reformation Lutheran Church's fellowship hall.  The reception - provided by Alexander Friends of the Library - is free and open to the public.  There will be refreshments (including apple bites!) and music provided by Allison Hager.  Please join us from 3:30 - 5 pm.

April 22 at Alexander County Library in Taylorsville will be the site for the next Art After Hours reception from 6 - 7:30 pm.  Featured artists are from Alexander Central High School.  Stop by and peruse the fabulous artworks!

And Saturday, April 23 will be the 3rd Annual RockyFest at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area.  There will be lots of great music, food trucks, rock climbing, children's activities and much more. I'll be your hostess on the stage, so hope to see you dancing in the crowd. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Teen Poetry Happens Joins "Dare To Speak the Word Aloud" Poetry Readings at Hiddenite Arts

The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center celebrated the words of Dr. Maya Angelou with an art reception on January 10, 2016. Local artists interpreted Dr. Angelou's poetic words and quotes through many different art forms. Then, on January 30 (after a postponement due to a snowstorm), poets gathered to celebrate her works in spoken word, music, and through interpretive dance and sign language. 
                                                               Senior TPH member,  
                                                             Cheyenne Chumley

Senior TPH member, Summer Chumley

 Senior TPH member, Allison Hager

Teen Poetry Happens joined the fantastic group of readers, musicians, and art appreciators at the Center's Dare to Speak the Word Aloud event.  This was the final program surrounding the poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou and the many artists who were inspired to create around her words.

The teen poets selected favorite works of Dr. Angelou to read aloud.  So proud of their participation in this remarkable event.

Freshman TPH member,
Hunter Addington                                                               

Sophomore TPH member, Noah Nowell

Also, be aware the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center's Annual Regional Artist Exhibit & Competition Youth Division entry deadline is tomorrow - Thurs. Feb. 18th by 4pm at the Lucas Mansion. If you are a student artist, please be sure to participate and share your creativity!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Teen Poetry Happens Demonstrates What "Love Is..." - or not - Through Words

Was excited to have many of the TPH teens (past and present) join me at Poetry Hickory on Tuesday, February 9.  We heard two amazing poets - Gibbons Ruark and Rand Brandes -  read from their collected works.  Both had the pleasure of knowing Nobel Prize winning Irish poet, Seamus Heaney.

Teen Poetry Happens met at Alexander County Library for their February meeting.  Of course, the subject of the month is love.  Check out their creative interpretations.

Summer Chumley reads 
"Love Is You" by Cheyenne Chumley

“Love is…” by Noah Nowell

Love is a dark heart,
A double-edged sword,
A necessary mistake.
For without love,
What do we really have?

"Love is… (This ain’t a love song. You don’t have to sing along)" by Hunter Addington

There’s something in the world that we all want
Everyone always says love is blind
That love will let you down
For the people that find it
oo, there’s another one fallen for love
aahh, there’s another one fallen for love
Lust, hate takes away the love we found
Love is when some takes your candy from your lunch
and you put another in the same spot everytime.
Love is not letting them fade away, never letting the mark they made fade
Love is being there when they crash and burn
Love is staying even when it’s tomorrow for them
Love is dancing inside when you think of them
Love is taking the song to your heart so you’ll never feel alone
Love is keeping your promise even though it kills you inside.
Love is still wondering how you are even if I never call you
Love is thinking and hoping we can be together someday
Love is loving a band so much that when they end you die inside
Love is when you love that band so much you can’t even think about them
Love is when you get so mad at that band that you don’t even know
Love is lying for them

The March 8 meeting will take it on the road to hike at Rocky Face Mountain - weather willing.  Transportation provided from the library and Alexander Central High School.  High school teens, reserve your spot for a ride or just join us out there at 3:30 pm for a photographic journey. Let's see if we can get a TPH member as a winner for the Rocky Face Monthly Photography Contest!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Have a day full of poetry and love!