Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Alexander Muse Submission Details and The Future Is Us - Teen Poetry Happens Creates Works About What Life Might Hold

The new year gives us a chance to think about resolutions, futures, and a fresh start in life.  Teen Poetry Happens teens met on Tuesday, January 13 to create works using pens, pencils, markers, blackout poetry, and poetry out loud to get juices flowing.

This poem by the first Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Sara Teasdale, is a reminder that we should give all we can to loveliness - and that should include the arts.

"Barter" by Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
      All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
      Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
      Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
      Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
      Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
      Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Here are the artistic pieces of loveliness the teens created at the meeting.

"Roots" by Julia Webb

“Hearts of Stone” by Sarah Johnson

Your heart is solid
An impenetrable shell
Surrounding your soul.
I want to win your love,
But it seems impossible.
I try so hard.
I want to fill the hole
She left in your heart.
I want to show you
That love still exists
In this world.

"Steppin' Out" by Berenice Reyes

“Future With A Pen” by Kira Call

I hold the pen in my hand, feeling it glide smoothly across the blank page before me.  The words slide freely onto the blinding white of the paper.  

I pause, the pen hovering over the blank space, so open, susceptible to ideas; waiting in eager yet painful silence with bated breath.  I wait for words to come, for the deep black of the ink to scratch the markings known as letters across its face.

I find myself pondering the future, wonder what will come, what I myself will become.  Doubt fills my being, slinking down into my core.  It hides in the mysterious darkness around me.  Can I achieve my dreams, or will the ocean of chaos that is the world drown me?  Will the words that haunt me through the days, consuming so much of my being, continue to flow throughout my life?

Or will they dry up, never to appear again? This possibility scares me. Strikes fear into my heart, rending it in two.

I shake myself, pulling back from the abyss, with all of its dark and endless questions, all of its negative outcomes. 

There are good things, too.  Good outcomes that accompany the bad.  I could easily continue to write my entire life, growing and changing along with my talent. Forge new friendships, create new stories.  As long as I have this ability, this chance, this opportunity, I can make it through my future.  I can take what comes.

"Eye of the Beholder" by Janah Bucknum

We are now 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!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ring In The Season with Teen Poetry Happens!

Happy Holidays!

We simply could not break with tradition. For our holiday tune this year, we offer yet another bell song. In the past we have created versions of "Carol of the Bells" and "Silver Bells".  This year, what better one to add to the mix than "Jingle Bells"?  

The teens created art; took photos; strummed, banged, or shook an instrument; and sang to the popular song.  Hope you enjoy it - simply click on the link below. 

Hope you have a wonderful New Year, too!


Teen Poetry Happens "Jingle Bells"

Friday, December 12, 2014

Teen Poetry Happens Club Has Been A Creative Bunch This Season!

On November 25, 2014, TPH took a field trip to the Lucas Mansion of The Hiddenite Center to begin work on a poem in honor of the Hiddenite Celebration of the Arts Festival.  The festival occurred on September 27 and our October meeting would have been when we began work on the poem. Alas, the meeting had to be postponed because a funnel cloud twisted through the area that afternoon.  There's a poem in that...

Ah, but we made the trip to the mansion in November! The teens selected words written on the "poetry wall" that hung at the festival and began to fashion a poem.  

Some of the students created individual pieces from their favorite images.  

“King” By Kira Call

     Laughter tinkles across the air, filling the atmosphere with its melodious swell. Colors clash within the warm embrace of the sun vying for recognition, craving attention.  People mill about - some sharing the beautiful day with family, some with friends.  Others still wander alone. 
     It is the day of the festival; excitement and expectation fill the air, along with the pungent odors of sweat, the sweet alluring scent of food.  Art supplies everywhere, scattered about like a child’s forgotten toys, splashing their vibrant contents across the crowded surfaces; bleeding images wherever their paths cross.
       Today, creativity reigns, standing tall with his head held high, coinciding with his queen, the noble art of love and friendship.  Together, the two weave and combine, forming an aura of laughter, good times, and precious memories.

"Feast" by Jeremiah Webb

Under the blue skies and the spirited breeze, I stride steel toed down the pathway of tents.  Towering like a mighty oak, this is what I live for.  The overwhelming fog of scents I follow like a bloodhound.  I hear the horn in the distance as the people quicken just to be in arms-reach of un-foretold riches.  I walk. The tribe is preparing the mighty feast as the players play a song of victory, banging their heads as if under a guise. This is life: music, feasting, and the chance to be spontaneous.

“Festival” by Haley Bucknum

Blessed by beautiful weather
let nothing be wasted.
Horn through walkie-talkie
is the sign to start. 10K
today…even better than before.
Not all who wander are lost,
just remember to turn on the light.
Love as if it were free; creativity flowing,
all ages, love is growing.
Homemade, hometown,
smiles, friends and fun;
bouncy houses, bouncing high.
Falling flat is lots of fun!
Blue icee – cold, yummy,
makes my teeth feel funny.
Together we come and together we stay.
We enjoy each other’s company
until the end of the day.

We plan to complete the final poem and put it together with music and photography by the end of the school year.

More on our TPH December meeting next week! Have a great weekend!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Annual Storytime Halloween Parade an Adorable Blast!

Here are just a few of my favorite photos of the Halloween Parade through Taylorsville on Halloween, October 31, 2014!  We were lucky to have good weather that morning as the evening was rainy.  

Special thanks to: Alexander County Tax Office; Alexander County Register of Deeds, Ben Hines; Sheriff Chris Bowman; Clerk of Court, Danny Dyson; The Taylorsville Times; Taylorsville Police Department; Taylorsville Town Hall; Taylorsville Savings Bank; Alexander County Head Start and Alexander County Partnership for Children - and all of the staff folks who assisted them.  I also want to thank my awesome volunteers who assisted me - Courtney Gant & Lauren and Lilah Terrell.

Young adult volunteers make the world go round - at least in the library!  Thanks, ladies!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Collaborative Poem To Be Crafted From Hiddenite's Celebration of the Arts Festival

Hi All,

We were going to try to get together to create our TPH poem for The Hiddenite Center on Tuesday, October 21, but funnel clouds and threats of a deluge held us off.  The new date to go will be Tuesday, November 25 - 3:30 - 4:30 pm.  Contact me at the library at 828-632-4058 if you need transportation. A ride will be provided.

During the festival, Teen Poetry Happens manned a poetry wall and art wall so that folks of all ages could express themselves through words and art about the event.  Now, our job at TPH will be to take the myriad of words and create a poem.  Eventually, there will be a promotional video I'll put together using photos from the day.

On another note, Friday is Halloween and the annual Storytime Halloween Parade will hit the streets starting at the library at 10 am, October 31.  The weather is supposed to be superb, so I hope many folks will join us with their little ones!  I have teen volunteers helping with door holds and stroller management, so feel free to bring your baby buggies.

Happy Halloween!  See ya at the library!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

TPH To Participate In Hiddenite Festival, September 27!

TPH teens had their first meeting of the 2014-15 school year at Reformation Lutheran Church's fellowship hall on Tuesday, September 9. They created poetic images for a TPH poem to be included in the 6th edition of The Alexander Muse teen art and literary magazine.  They also designed a creative sign for the Hiddenite Festival to share the vision of our super creative group.

Teen Poetry Happens is honored to be asked to take part in the Hiddenite Center Celebration of the Arts Festival on Saturday, September 27 in Hiddenite.  Creative teens, TPH's Ms. Is, yours truly, and a poetry wall will be located in the Art in Action section of the festival.

There, festival goers will be asked to jot down images of the festival on the poetry wall.  The whole collection of images will be taken and a poem crafted by the teen poets at their October meeting. That meeting will take place at the Lucas Mansion of The Hiddenite Center.  The poem will be dedicated to the festival and a promotional video created.

All ages are invited to share favorite memories of past festivals or the current festival. Please stop by and see us! 

The 2015 edition of The Alexander Muse is now accepting art, photography, poetry, and short story prose works to be considered for the magazine.  Any high school student whose residence is in Alexander County is eligible to enter, regardless of educational institution. Teens may enter as many items in as many categories as they wish, but may only win in one category.

Feel free to contact me at Alexander County Library if you have any questions or wish to be involved in our fun activities!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Recycled Art Show Ends Fizz Boom READ Creatively!

Alexander County Library had a wonderful turnout for their Recycled/Re-Purposed Art Show on Saturday, July 26 at the library.  This was the final all inclusive program event for Fizz Boom READ, the summer reading program. Patrons were amazed at the creativity used to create the 31 artworks on display.  The art contest was open to all Alexander County residents. 

Take a look at the awesome works that were submitted!

5 age divisions were juried – Adult, High School, Middle School, Elementary, and Preschool. Prizes were given to the top artwork in each division.

Recipients were:
Preschool Division – Carson Millsaps, son of Adam and Natalie Millsaps of Taylorsville, for “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” made from an egg carton.  Carson received 5 free Happy Meals from McDonald’s of Taylorsville provided by the restaurant.

Elementary Division – Evie Daniels, daughter of Mandy Norton of Taylorsville, for “Computer (FaceBook)”made from a Giovanni’s takeout box.  Ironically, Evie received a $20 gift certificate for Giovanni’s provided by the restaurant.

Middle School Division – Stephen “Alex” Pardue, son of Stephen Pardue of Taylorsville, for “Enlightened Roses” created with a light bulb, newspaper roses, and a coat hanger. Alex received 2 free Village Inn pizza buffets and drinks from Village Inn of Taylorsville.

High School Division – Sarah Johnson, daughter of Paul and Lisa Johnson of Bethlehem, for “Wonderland Dreams” created from various recycled items such as broken glass, tin foil, an old doll, even an old music box. Sarah received a $20 gift card from Mexico Viejo provided by the Taylorsville restaurant.

Adult Division – Bud Caywood of Bethlehem for “The Killing Field” created from “’road carnage’ found at the intersection of NC Highway 127 South and US 321 South in Mountain View, Catawba County.” Caywood’s disturbing piece reminds the viewer that “automobiles are killing machines” and “we are surrounded by a killing field.” Caywood received 2 dinner theatre tickets for any Hiddenite Center show within the next year provided by the center.

A Best In Show prize - a free one year membership for The Hiddenite Center provided by The Hiddenite Center – was determined by patron vote. “Enlightened Roses” by Stephen “Alex” Pardue was named Best in Show.

A free hot dog cookout, sponsored by Alexander Friends of the Library, followed the exhibition.

Judges for the contest were: Leslie Newton of Hickory, a portrait painter specializing in pet portraits; and Laurie Childres of Hickory, owner of Carolina Classical Glass, whose art objects are many times created from recycled/re-purposed items.  Contact Mel Hager at the library if you would like more information about these artist judges.

Alexander County Library thanks all of the artists for their entries.  They would also like to thank The Hiddenite Center, Mexico Viejo, Ray Lackey Enterprises and Village Inn, Giovanni’s of Taylorsville, McDonald’s of Taylorsville, Mays Meats, Food Lion, and Kenny Arnold for their donations.   Thanks also to the Town of Taylorsville for the use of picnic tables.

Programs could not be held without volunteer assistance.  The library wishes to thank Alexander Friends of the Library Larry and Kathy Riddle, Brenda McRae, and Dave Baseler for cooking and serving the hot dog lunch.  Also, thanks to teen volunteers Katie Austin, Ally Bebber, Marcos Cazares, Courtney Gant, Allison Hager, and Meilin Tan for their assistance to set up and take down the show.

August is Art Appreciation Month and all works will be displayed at the library for the month. Stop by Alexander County Library and check them out – so to speak.

Have a great rest of your summer!