Friday, February 13, 2015

YAYAs, Teen Poetry Happens, and The Alexander Muse - Lots of Great Things In Store

Hi Everyone,

I've been hopping since the beginning of the new year and our teen programs have been hopping right along with me.

The YAYAs met in January to discuss a new favorite book for me - Every Day by David Levithan.  In the young adult novel, "A" is a being that wakes up each day in a new teenager's body; sometimes a girl, sometimes a boy, sometimes heterosexual, sometimes not.  

Levithan's amazing storytelling takes "A" into situations with piercing insight. The reader cannot help but feel how each body operates, from being obese and unable to go up stairs easily to drop dead gorgeous with all eyes on them. Some known for smarts, some known for brawn.  All a challenge for "A" to navigate through properly for a day.

The rub comes when "A" is inside a football player named Justin whose girlfriend, Rhiannon, rocks his world.  Suddenly, this being that tries so hard to not interfere in the lives taken over, wants to stay to be near Rhiannon.  "A's" efforts are Herculean, taking otherwise normal teens and making them skip school, drive great distances, and go to parties, just to be near Rhiannon.

The YAYAs definitely gave it a thumbs up - with caution.  One said  "If you like your heart stomped on, it's great!" But aren't some of the best books and movies tearjerkers?  And the question of what is "A"? Like Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, is it a parasite?  The YAYAs had a lot of interesting theories.  You get a glimpse he/she's not alone in the "take over a life for a day" existence.  All the more to make a sequel to be excited about. Another Day hits the shelves in August 2015.

Teen Poetry Happens got in the loving spirit for their February meeting with Ode poetry.  Check out some of their neat creations.

“Ode to My Milk” by Jeremiah Webb

O Milk,
my drink of choice
that goes down my throat
so soft and moist. 
You go well with cookies
and that is just fine.
But to drink with my Ramen
is truly divine! 
Always remember , this much to be true
if McDonald’s had a milk dispenser,
know I would pick you.

“Ode to My Blanket” by Berenice Reyes

Warmth and comfort,
oh, you make me so happy.
Wittle, wittle blanket
you are mine.

“Ode to Books” by Hayley Bucknum

Hard backs, paperbacks
with crispy paper in between.
Old and new, bound in blue,
the only entertainment I need.
Different worlds with different lives,
so many to choose from  - fantasy
to fiction, mystery and romance.
Lives to be lived in limited page time.
If you’re ever looking for me
you’ll find me under the trees
with my nose between pages
or between worlds.
You can never tell…

“Ode to Music” by Julia Webb

Some people like music,
some people don’t.
I don’t like music,
I love music.
Music helps me think,
it helps me cry. 
It helps me smile,
it helps me live on.
I believe music
is the medicine
everyone needs!

“Ode to Jealousy” by Sarah Johnson

‘Tis an ode to jealousy,
for without jealousy,
our world would cease to exist.

Without the will to covet
we would not reach for the stars,
would not try as hard.
For without jealousy
our love would fail
because our love life scale
would appear to have lower degrees.

‘Tis an ode to jealousy,
for without jealousy,
our world would cease to exist.

We are excited about our final TPH meeting which will be at Rocky Face Mountain on March 10 - weather willing.  Transportation will be provided from the high school and the library.  Just contact me at the library at 828-632-4058 for details.  

We are counting down the days for accepting submissions for the 2015 Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine.  North Carolina poet laureate, Shelby Stephenson, has agreed to adjudicate the poetry division and we are grateful he has added us to his busy calendar.

All poetry, short story prose, and photography should be submitted in a digital format.  Art (which must be two dimensional) may be dropped by Alexander County Library or to Robbin Isenhour Stewart at Alexander Central High School.  

The contest is open to all Alexander County high school students - regardless of educational institution.  This means the alternative school, private, boarding, or home schools.

Short stories should contain 500 words or less.  Poems should not have more than 40 lines. Students may submit as many items in as many categories as they wish, but may only place in one category.  Content should be suitable for all ages.

The last day to submit items for consideration is March 2, 2015.  There are prizes and a chance to be published in high school, so get creative, Alexander County teens!

And have a Happy Valentine's Day full of love!

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