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!!


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!


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