Thursday, January 14, 2016

Teen Poetry Happens Joins Maya Angelou Poetry Reading Postponed to January 30

Portrait of Young Maya Angelou by Cheyenne Chumley

On Saturday, January 30, 2016, Teen Poetry Happens will be reading aloud works by North Carolina's beloved poet, Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed away in May of 2014.  It is part of the Daring To Soar Celebration of Maya Angelou's words through art and poetry.

The public is invited to join the free event at the Lucas Mansion beginning at 1 pm.   There will be coffee, refreshments, and an opportunity for all ages to read poetic works by Dr. Angelou and/or create poems from the inspiring artworks in the Lucas Mansion gallery.  The pieces were created around her words and unveiled at the artist reception on January 10.

Come enjoy Dr. Angelou's wise words on Saturday, January 30 from 1 - 2:30 pm. Hope to see you there!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Holidays! YAYA and Friends of the Library Team Up For Books While Teen Poetry Happens Creates Comical "Jingle Bell Sock"

On Thursday, December 10, 2015, nine Alexander County high school students in YAYA –the young adult book club at Alexander County Library – perused the shelves of Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Hickory searching for new works for the library.  Armed with $500 dollars provided by Alexander Friends of the Library, YAYAs were entrusted with their extensive reading knowledge to find books that would appeal to young readers.

Purchases were made for the young adult, juvenile, and picture book sections of the library. A commemorative book plate will be placed in each new work added to the collection. 
After the book shopping spree, the Friends treated the club to dinner at The Olive Garden for their December meeting.  The restaurant also kicked in a special deal for the YAYA club.

The YAYAs have been an active club meeting monthly at Alexander County Library since 2005. They provide many hours of volunteer service for the library and are avid library users. Current members are high school students from Alexander Central High School and home schools.  In the past, students have been from Challenger High School and other area private schools.

Alexander Friends of the Library partners with Barnes & Noble where members of the Friends receive a 20% discount at the book seller.  Call the library for details on how to become a Friend of the Library and receive its many benefits.

Alexander County Library and I wish to thank Alexander Friends of the Library and YAYA for collaborating to improve the children’s and young adult library collections. Thanks also to Barnes & Noble and The Olive Garden for contributing to a fantastic evening.

For your holiday pleasure, Teen Poetry Happens took the classic tune and made a funny video.  Click on the link and check it out!

"Jingle Bell Sock"

Many happy days reading, writing, and creating wished for you in 2016!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Watch The Screen Time - This Cannot Be Staged - Read To Your Little!

We absolutely must keep reading alive.  Speech and reading acumen, critical thinking, and above all, bonding time with your child, is at stake when you let a TV or computer do all the literacy training.  Please use moderation with the screen - and READ to your bunny! The benefits are priceless.

Also, it never hurts to bring your little one to storytime at the library (hint! hint!). ;)


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Teen Poetry Happens Has Creative October Meeting

Super creative Teen Poetry Happens teens gathered on Tuesday, October 13 in "play on words" costumes for another round of artistry and wordplay. I have been putting them out on Facebook for folks to guess. See if you know what the costumes are as you scroll down through the poetry, art, and photos.

Everyone is excited to return to the Lucas Mansion at the Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center on November 10.  They will craft a new poem from imagery collected at the Hiddenite Festival of the Arts on September 26.  Interested high school teens need to contact me at the library if they need a ride.

Enjoy trying to decipher the costumes!  You can leave comments below if you like.

“Missing You Is Easy, Letting Go Is Hard” 
by Hunter Addington

Now your ashes, nightmares
still haunt me.
Tell me
Tell me
what you want to hear.
Tell me and I’ll make it disappear.
Tell me your nightmares,
welcome me into your head.
I’ll show you dreams,
a different life.

“leaves” by Cheyenne Chumley

crisp leaves burning
smoke billowing through the air
into my lungs
the scent reminds me of you
crisp leaves crackling
under my feet
comforting to my ears
red, yellow, orange,
harsh against blue sky
October rainbow
greets my eyes
again, I am reminded of you
although I can’t pinpoint why
but I guess the thought of you
is reason enough

“Marvelous” by Riley Addington

Interesting conversation
with dust bunnies, holy
avocadoes, French kiss
hard at work, sails are merging.
At first you fear the worst
then beauty comes out,
makes the most amazing thing.
Poetry is a mirror to life, reflects
pain, joy, pride, sorrow, and envy.
If really mad, take the mirror,
smash it to smithereens.
Choice is yours if you want to show
the world what is in the mirror
or if you want to hide it.

Rock on!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Teen Poetry Happens and YAYAs Gear Up at Alexander County Library

The 2015/16 school year is off to a great start with teen programs at Alexander County Library.  The first YAYA meeting on September 8 yielded a new meeting day - the  3rd Wednesday of the month, 3:45 pm, at Alexander County Library.  If you are a voracious reader and a high school student, this book club is for you.  Call me at the library or find me on Facebook if you would like to join us. The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 21 at 3:45 pm at the library.

Our creative teen club, Teen Poetry Happens, had its first meeting on September 22 at Reformation Lutheran Church.  This group is for any interested high school students who love art, poetry, photography and short story writing.

This year, TPH will be involved with the 34th Annual Hiddenite Celebration of the Arts Festival, Saturday, September 26, 9 am - 4 pm.  We are manning another Poetry Wall in the Art in Action area of the festival.  Last year's awesome collection of visual and written images can be viewed with the spoken crafted poem at

As with each new beginning, Teen Poetry Happens collects images to create our latest group poem.  The poem is published in The Alexander Muse each spring.  I love this new poem with its fall theme...and apple bites, too!

The next Teen Poetry Happens meeting will be October 13, 3:30 pm, at Reformation Lutheran's fellowship hall.  The teens will have a creative costume contest that day.  Cannot wait to see what they come up with! 

Happy Fall!  Hope to see you at Hiddenite's Celebration of the Arts Festival or in the library soon!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Every Hero Has A Story - What's Yours?

Summer reading is on the way at Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch.  The theme for 2015 is “Every Hero Has A Story!” and there are many fun activities planned for all ages, birth to adult.   

The program is free and begins on June 14.  Participants report time spent reading until August 1, 2015.  Students sign up and keep track of how much time is read online.  There is also an option to write titles of books.

Every participant will receive a goody bag with this year’s stadium cup.  Students will receive the bag when time is reported or a program is attended.

Research demonstrates students’ reading skills are diminished during summer break if reading is not practiced.  The library encourages youth to read at least 15 minutes a day to keep reading skills sharp. 

Reading therapy dogs, Abby and Kowboy, will be available for readers on Wednesdays during the summer at both libraries.

Many optional program events are included in the reading program.  The kickoff event for all ages will have Illusionist Caleb Sigmon at Davis Hall of First Baptist Church in Taylorsville on Friday, June 19 at 10 am.  Sigmon will also provide a free magic workshop for children rising 2nd grade and up.  The program is free and open to the public, but workshop attendees must register with Miss Mel at Alexander County Library by Thursday, June 18.

                                   Caleb Sigmon, Illusionist

Other programs include: a hike at Rocky Face Mountain Park to conquer the mountain; Alexander County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit; and author Marty Hartman with his Adventures of Wally the Wheelchair. Students under the 3rd grade will be required to have an adult accompany them on the Rocky Face hike. 

Local Sheriff’s Deputy and children’s author, Michael Harrison, will also have an evening literacy program at Bethlehem Branch on Thursday evening, July 16 from 6 – 7 pm.  Bethlehem Friends of the Library will provide drinks and homemade cookies.  Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas to the Christmas in July event.

The final program event on Saturday, July 25 at 9 am will be a Superhero Training Camp for all ages.  Teens and adults can test texting and driving skills with the Sheriff’s Department driving simulator.  Experience drunk goggles and how impaired one is if under the influence of intoxicating substances.  There will be an obstacle course and other challenges for all ages. Krispy Kreme doughnuts will be provided for everyone that morning.  

There are also special programs for teens and preschool children.  Teens will participate in the fifth annual National Teen Lock-in on July 31.  There will be a national cosplay contest and teens are encouraged to create their own masquerade costume - be it a ball gown or a superhero.

Also, preschoolers will be asked to allow one of their stuffed animals to stay at "Library Camp" for three nights so teens can create a "Stuffed Animals Library Camp Adventure" movie.  Teen movie making night will be June 25.
Preschoolers can dress their favorite hero part for the storytime kickoff on Tuesday, June 16 at 10 am.  There will also be a "Frozen" party for the preschoolers as the final program for that age group. 

A bag lunch will be available every Tuesday at the main library in Taylorsville for youth ages 0 -18 and at the June Friday programs at Davis Hall and Rocky Face Park. See calendar for details.  
For more information, call the library at 828-632-4058 or check out the library’s website at

Hope to see you at Alexander County Library and Bethlehem Branch this summer!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Alexander Muse Debuts April 21 - Join Us As We Unveil the 6th Edition!

Hi Everyone,

Absolutely one of my favorite things about April as Poetry Month is the unveiling of the next Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine!  The collection is by Alexander County, NC high school students - poetry, photography, art, and short story prose.

The reception is Tuesday, April 21 at Reformation Lutheran's fellowship hall located at 443 West Main Avenue in Taylorsville. The celebration will begin at 3:30 pm with food, musical entertainment, and readings from the magazine. The reception is sponsored by the Alexander Friends of the Library and is free and open to the public. 

This year’s panel of judges included: Art -  Miranda Burgin, Bud Caywood, and Pam Mull;  Poetry – Adrian Rice, Scott Owens, and North Carolina poet laureate, Shelby Stephenson; Prose – Melissa Jolly, Betty O’Hearn, and Brenda Smith;  Photography – Glenn Mays, David Moser, and John Womack. 
The Alexander Muse Committee wishes to thank the judges for sharing their time and expertise to determine this year’s published works.  The Muse committee would also like to thank Alexander Friends of the Library who provided dinner for the judges. 
The contest was open to all high school students from Alexander County. Eligible teens could attend public, private, alternative, or home school.
The Alexander Muse 2015 edition will be in full color thanks to a community grant from Statesville company, Carris Reels.  
Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category of art, poetry, prose, and photography.  There will also be honorable mentions per category.  Prizes provided by Wal-Mart, Giovanni’s, Cotton Seed Boutique, Koto's, Mizo’s, Mexico Viejo, and Alexander Friends of the Library.
There will also be a drawing for door prizes for teen attendees. 
Teen Poetry Happens and The Alexander Muse teen magazine are programs through a collaborative effort of Alexander County Schools and Alexander County Library.  

Another note, this evening marks the next in the series of poetry readings at the Bethlehem Branch of Alexander County Library.  I am honored to be one of the "Women Of Spirit" who will read original works.  The event begins at 7 pm.  If you're in the area, stop by!

Here's hoping you have a month filled with beautiful words!