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!


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!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fun Form Blackout Poetry Yields Great Words For Teen Poetry Happens

For the first meeting of the new year on January 17, Teen Poetry Happens met at the library and created Blackout Poetry.  With this form, the writer takes words from a written page like in a magazine, blacking out words not needed, and leaving only the ones that are used.  (Or some people may choose to highlight the words they want to use.)  It's a wonderful way to fashion a poem if one has a hard time coming up with words!

“What Is Not Blacked Out” by Noah Nowell
Knowledge can solve the character I am.
But until I love from behind the monitors,
I fall.

“Hot Tracks For You” by Tati Pierre

The warmest slow jam
like wondrously monster beats.
A hip-swaying ode to the guys,
the perfect R&B sweetheart.
Chilly beats, woozy synths,
light-as-feather croon;
serves up angelic vocals. Dark, sexy –
most dangerous, is straight
out of the psycho theme.

“Powerful” by Janah Bucknum

Passionate readers reading
about courageous life, love, and light.
Reading is an emotional experience
straight from the heart. A story
is music with a message; safe,
fearless, powerfully revealing.
I can’t stop listening.
I have grottos and statues I’ve written.
Some of it makes no sense. Some,
beautiful for sure. I challenge
anyone to always treasure art.

“Top of the Mountain”
by Courtney Gant

The top of the mountain
is clad a little differently;
the other way, not perfect,
slightly exiled. The journey –

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!