Friday, March 14, 2014

TPH Visits Lucas Mansion & Youth Art Exhibit For Final Meeting

Teen Poetry Happens got ekphrastic for their final meeting of the 2013-14 school year at the Lucas Mansion of the Hiddenite Center.  A few of our artists had pieces on display from the Youth Art Competition which was held on March 2. This made the trip even more special for our teens.

Ekphrastic poetry is based on an artwork - pottery, photography, or painting.  The teens viewed all the items in the gallery and chose one - or several -on which to base their poem.  Some of our teen artists decided to use the artistic inspiration to create their own drawings.  

Miranda Burgin from the Hiddenite Center, arranged the afternoon visit for TPH.  We thank Ms. Burgin and the center's staff very much for having us.

Here are some of the works created from our visit.

"Spinning" by Jessica Ferretiz

Everything's spinning ,
but we are together.
We each have issues,
waddling along.
I watch with one eye
and you laugh with a gesture.
It spins and explores,
longing so softly.
With arched backs,
carousel singing,
we dance in the night
and sit here thinking.

Senior, Jessica Ferretiz, had this adorable strawberry in the Youth Art Competition.

Jeremiah Webb's poem was based on many of the works in the gallery. The artistic titles are in quotes. This is also in the spoken word video below.

"So Many Walls, So Many Ways" by Jeremiah Webb

Hidden doors all around, so many "Issues."  Where's "McCartney" when you need him? Life feels like a "Tiger and a Dragon" are fighting inside my head.  I need a "Hidden Angel" to set me free. I'm not asking for "Puppy Love" or to "Be Unique".  Just simply "Heart Friends" to show the way.

Sarah Johnson's portrait of Sir Paul McCartney inspired my poem

"Dichotomy" by Mel Hager

Across room in black and white,
Paul calls to me.
Beatle who broke hearts,
mend my broken wings.

Senior Morgan Waterbury had this sweet kitty in the competition.  She was also inspired to draw a tree which was based on this sculpture.

"Freed" by Hayley Bucknum 
(check out her spoken word on down)

I haven't freed my spirit,
not danced before the dawn.
I leap into the air,
open my heart to the world,
set my spirit free,
dance with the life around.

"Where There Is Hope" by Kira Call
Staring upward into the depth of a deep and starry night, her eyes glaze as she dreams of what is yet to come, of past, present, and future.  In the blackness of the sky, filled with pinpricks of light, she realizes that all is not lost, not all is hopeless. And somewhere, deep within her heart, she feels hope swell. She knows deep inside her that where there is hope, there is a future. 
Art by Sarah Johnson
It comes in all shapes and sizes,
it's the forbidden kind that gets me.
Not accepted by society,
the love I find beautiful.

Love Janah Bucknum's "Drawing A Blank"!

Our adoration for humanity
pulls our cosmos together,
bonds spirits, never ending -
a love greater than all.

Cheyenne Chumley was inspired 
by this drawing in the background.

Check out some of our recorded spoken word poetry. video

Many thanks to our teens for a wonderful year of creativity and to the Hiddenite Center for providing a wonderful space to finish up our meetings! 

Be sure to join us for the debut of the 2014 Alexander Muse on April 15 at Reformation Lutheran Church's fellowship hall from 3:30 - 5:30 pm.  Door prizes, music, and a walk through this special 5th anniversary edition which will be in full color!  Thanks again to Carris Reels of Statesville for the community grant which makes this happen.

Finally, we are in the last week before The Hunger Games Teen Lock-In here at Alexander County Library.  Be sure to call me to reserve your spot and get a permission form. Cannot wait!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Exciting Teen Programs This Month at Alexander County Library!

Our teens will be hopping this month with incredible opportunities for creativity and fun.  Teen Poetry Happens takes a field trip on Tuesday, March 11 to the Hiddenite Center's Lucas Mansion to explore ekphrastic poetry.  The program begins at 3:30 pm and will end at 4:30 pm.  Refreshments will be provided.

On Sunday, March 2, the Center had its Youth Art Competition and all of the works are on display.  Our TPH teens will get to write poetry, short stories, or be inspired to draw even more art around the exhibition's works.

I was really excited that Jared Webb, one of my YAYA/TPH students, 
played beautiful music for the art reception.  Great job!

If you are an Alexander County teen and would like to join us at the Lucas Mansion, be there by 3:30 pm.  I will provide transportation from the high school and public library with a signed form.  Seats are limited so call me at the library 
828-632-4058 to reserve a ride and get the form.

Then, on Friday night, March 21, will be the return of the teen lock-in for the beloved Hunger Games trilogy!  5 pm - 
11 pm. This teen lock-in (for 7th grade to high school senior) will honor the second book/movie in the series, Catching Fire.  Please make your reservations for the event by March 18.  Call the library at the above number. 

The YAYAs and I put together the video that details all the fun activities we have planned - including Skype chats with Paradise, CA and Craig, Alaska libraries.  The lock-in will also will be in tandem with Teen Tech Week (albeit a week late). Cannot wait!

Click on the link and watch it here 

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oh, The Love! TPH Makes Music At The February Meeting

The TPH teens were a creative lot on Tuesday, February 11th at our Valentine's meeting at Reformation's Fellowship Hall. Armed with a recorder and a video camera, I was able to capture lots of music from guitars, ukeleles, piano, and various percussion instruments.  

Teens wrote lyrics, rapped and sang.  And, of course, enjoyed apple bites!  I threw a photo of them  into the video taken at another meeting.  The video consists of footage from several of our adventures through the year.  

A reminder that The Alexander Muse is still accepting works of art, poetry, prose, and photography to be considered for the 5th Anniversary edition which debuts April 15.  The contest is open to all Alexander County residents who attend any type of high school educational institution – public, private, alternative, or home school.  

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and will be provided by Wal-mart of Taylorsville, Alexander Friends of the Library, and Village Inn of Taylorsville.  There will also be 3 honorable mentions in each category. 

We are super excited that the whole edition will be in color provided by a generous grant from Carris Reels of Statesville.  This means art and photography will be displayed at their best!  We are grateful to Carris Reels for their support of the arts in Alexander County - especially our awesome teen literary magazine!

Click here to watch (and hear!) Music of February 2014

Have a great month of love!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Alexander Muse Teen Art and Literary Magazine Calls For Submissions

I am so excited!  It's crunch time for Alexander County teens to get their art, poetry, photography, and short stories in for consideration to be in the 5th anniversary of The Alexander Muse teen literary magazine.  The magazine will be published in April and will be in full color made possible through a generous grant from Carris Reels of Statesville.

The contest is open to all Alexander County residents who attend any type of high school educational institution – public, private, alternative, or home school.  Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and will be provided by Wal-mart of Taylorsville, Alexander Friends of the Library, and Village Inn of Taylorsville.  There will also be 3 honorable mentions in each category. 

Poetry submissions may be in any form, but no longer than 32 lines.  Prose writings should not contain more than 1000 words.  Art and photography must be able to be reproduced on the printed page.  1st place art and photography will be on the front and back covers respectively.

Art submissions may be dropped off at Alexander County Library or Bethlehem branch; or in designated areas at Alexander Central High School.  Digital photographs, poetry, or prose may be e-mailed to me at  It is important that poetry and prose submissions are typed and sent electronically.  Only digital photographs will be accepted, but a photo of a film print will be accepted.

The last day to submit items is February 28, 2014.  It is free to submit works and items remain property of the artist/writer. Students may submit as many works in as many categories as they wish, but may only place in one category.   Winners will be announced at the debut party at Reformation Lutheran’s Fellowship Hall on April 15, 2014.

The Alexander Muse and Teen Poetry Happens are collaborative efforts of Alexander County Schools and Alexander County Library.  Ms. Duncan, Ms. Is, and I cannot wait to see what this year's edition brings.  Make sure you don't miss a chance to be published in high school!


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Teen Poetry Happens "Rings" In the Season!

Hi Everyone!

The New Year is upon us!  The teen poets/artists/photographers were ready to capture the scene and make it ring at our December meeting on December 10 at Reformation.  

Kira Call wrote another wonderful piece and shared it with us.
Bells chime in the wind, their melodious voices calling out the same message over and over again.  If only the people would listen.  But they don’t – or won’t. They go on and on, from day to day, never thinking about what is truly important, what really matters.  Time is a finicky thing – always rushing past, dragging by, or leaving us completely.  Bells try to warn us, if only we would listen.

On another note, our Hunger Games: Catching Fire lockin is a go for Friday night, March 21, 2014 at Alexander County Library.  I'm so excited as we will have "visiting" libraries (via Skype) to join us from California and Alaska.  Fun!  Fun!  Be working on those costumes, folks.  Our Friend and chaperone, Terry, is really getting into President Snow mode. Have you seen him?  I swear he could stand in for Donald Sutherland!

Hope you enjoy our rambunctious "Silver Bells" song compliments of Jared and Mr. Stewart.  Have a beautiful holiday season and a blessed New Year!

Click here to watch the Youtube video of "TPH Silver Bells".


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Friends of the Library Make YAYA Holidays (and the Library's!) Bright!

Happy Holidays, Folks!

Alexander County Library's YAYAs (the young adult book club) were treated to an awesome night of book shopping and dining in Hickory on December 3, 2013.  Alexander Friends of the Library made it possible for the teens to purchase $500 worth of young adult books for the library which the book clubbers were excited to select. After shopping, the teens dined at Olive Garden.

Barnes & Noble, where the teens purchased books, made it special for the visiting book club.  They created a neat scavenger hunt with questions about popular YA novels, the bookseller itself, and Starbucks coffees. YAYAs had a blast collaborating and seeking answers to clues.  At times, I thought I was watching Survivor or something!

Cheyenne was the scavenger hunt victor, but everyone was a winner with a free coffee, hot chocolate, or tea.  Alexander County Library, Alexander Friends of the Library, YAYAs, and I thank the bookseller Barnes & Noble profusely for a wonderful time - and awesome books!
The evening did not end there.  YAYAs headed for The Olive Garden, which accommodated our gang with a great meal and excellent service.  The restaurant loved the idea of a teen book club dining with them and capped our evening off with flair.  We would also like to thank The Olive Garden for our wonderful dining event!
Every book purchased that evening has a commemorative book plate inside to mark the generosity of our wonderful Friends. YAYAs thank them for a wonderful holiday experience!  

 Special thanks to Alicia Addington (4th from the left) who helped me make sure things went smoothly on our excursion!

May your holidays jingle brightly!  (My next post will be about our awesome TPH meeting and that will ring true!)


Monday, November 18, 2013

Teen Poetry Happens Hikes Rocky Face Mountain and Gets Awesome Photos

On Tuesday, November 12, Teen Poetry Happens took a trip to Alexander County's Rocky Face Mountain Park to capture the last of autumn's colors in pictures.  We had an awesome time though the cold front made it here early and it was a bit chilly.  OK, it was excruciatingly chilly, but with views and gorgeous nature like that - not to mention great camaraderie - who couldn't have a great time?

For the record, the gorgeous sunset photo was taken as we waited for students to be picked up at the Senior Center after our journey.  What a way to end our spectacular afternoon!

Our next meeting will be on December 10 at 3:30 pm.  We will return to Reformation Lutheran's fellowship hall for that meeting.  We always come up with fun activities for Christmas, so come one, come all!  If you're a high school teen, that is. :)