TBP Poetry Contest Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 TBP Poetry contest. Thank you to all that participated in the first TBP poetry contest. We received a range of poems–some were happy, some were sad, and some were touching.

Choosing the winners was not an easy task. In the end, the judgment came down to the poets’ originality, style, structure and impact. The judges were blown away by the talent and creativity they received from you, our patrons.

The winners are:
Category 1 (Ages 0- 10): Xiomara Gilliam with “A Cat Who Could Jump”
Category 3 (Ages 19 and Up): Barbary Wright with “Now We Are Ninety”
Category 3 (Ages 19 and Up): Tiffany Chartier with “One Cowboy’s End”

Job well done!

A Cat Who Could Jump by Xiomara Grace Gilliam
There once was a cat who could jump.
He could jump high over a bump.
He fell on his head
And thought he was dead
But all that was there was a lump.

NOW WE ARE NINETY by Barbara M. Wright
God brought us together, by His hand from above,
From the moment we met, we were in love.
Loneliness gone, a new life together,
His hand in mine, we learned from each other.

We are seventy-two and ripe for adventure,
He made me smile as we sang, and we danced,
He was the builder, with saw and a hammer,
I was his helper, standing by with the measure.

Day by day, year by year, our love grew stronger,
Until the day came when he could remember no longer.
Each time I am with him, he asks again and again,
“Why can’t I go home, oh please tell me when.”

Now, our bodies are frail, our sight growing dim,
Yet my love is no less than when I married him.
“What’s the matter with me?” words that tear at my heart.
“You love me no more, or we would not be apart”.

Most of his past and the people he knew,
Like a fog rolling in, seem to have vanished from view.
Oh God, if it you hear me, please call my love home,
I don’t want to die first and leave him alone.

One Cowboy’s End by Tiffany K. Chartier
Tree stumps circle around the old stone fire pit;
Tall grass rides up the boots of those who sit.
Stories are shared with an air of pride,
as the fire swells and the night hides.
Critters on the outskirts stop to listen,
but the cowboys see their eyes a ‘glisten.
The shrouded unknown is haunting;
yes, to all creatures – fear is the most daunting.
That is what, after all, boosts the tales,
around all old stone fire pits around the trails.
So long as the faithful fires keep a ‘swellin;
the sins of the cowboys will remain engulfed with their hellin’.
No one will notice the fear in their eyes;
except, perhaps, for that one fearless critter…right before one cowboy dies.

 

 

TBP Call Center Closed In the Morning on 9/13/16

TBP Reader Services staff will be attending an important training session off-site on the morning of Tuesday, September 13th, 2016. The call center will be closed until 12:30 that day.

While no one will be available to take your calls until 12:30, as always, you may leave a voice mail message at 1-800-252-9605 or contact us by email at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov. We will respond to your messages promptly.

Thank you for your patience while we train to serve you better.

TBP Circulation Center Maintenance May Cause Service Delays, Interruptions

Over the next weeks, you may experience slight interruptions in service or materials may take a bit longer than usual to get to you. This is due to scheduled maintenance at our circulation center in Austin that may require that we close the center on some days.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and look forward to returning to optimum service as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.

To contact the Talking Book Program, please email us at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov or call us at 1-800-252-9605 (512-463-5458 in Austin).

Please note that TBP staff do not have a detailed schedule of closures or delays; these are dependent on the progress of the maintenance.

10 Digit Dialing Coming to the Austin Area

For people living in the following eight counties: Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Lampasas, Milam, Travis, and Williamson, beginning June first you will need to dial the area code first for local calls. On July first, new phone numbers issued within these counties will be assigned a 737 area code, which accounts for the need to dial the area code. Even if you are calling from one 512 number to another 512 number in the same city, you still need to dial the area code first. Local calls will remain free within these counties.

 Other cities and counties in Texas have had multiple area codes for years. The Dallas area has three area codes: 214, 972, and 469. The Houston area has three as well: 281, 713, and 832. San Antonio is the last major city in Texas to have only one area code: 210.

Visually Impaired Texan Competes for MasterChef–Tonight!

Houston resident Christine Ha is a national sensation due to her success on the third season of MasterChef, the popular Fox cooking competition series. Ms. Ha is a fan favorite, which is not surprising; her incredible talent, quiet charm, and stage presence are a compelling combination. Tonight, she competes as one of the final two contestants for the title of MasterChef.

What is surprising is that Ms. Ha creates all of those beautiful dishes without the advantage of sight. Ms. Ha has a visual impairment and uses a cane to navigate the sets of the show. Because she cannot read print, an assistant finds ingredients on her orders. Ms. Ha lost her vision over the course of eight years due to an autoimmune condition.

The Talking Book Program wishes Ms. Ha the very best of luck on tonight’s final show at 8pm CST on Fox. We hope to soon be able to say that a Texan is the first visually impaired MasterChef!