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• 2010 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry •

Winners & Finalists 2010

Winners & Finalists for 2011 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry

First Place: “Contagious” by Stephanie Hiteshew
Second Place: “Yardwork” by Gary Every
Third Place: “Just Another Word” by Pamela Annas

2010 First Place Winner: “Contagious” by Stephanie Hiteshew


They all
call me ugly.
I tell them,
“If that’s true,
I hope it’s contagious.”
And they scatter
like the days
I wasn’t this smart.

2010 Second Place Winner: “Yardwork” by Gary Every


My longest account
has been with Mrs. Wigston.
When her yard is overrun
with grasses, weeds, and wildflowers,
she asks me to landscape
her parcel of earth.
Armed with only a hoe,
I wield the wrath of my blade
until the soil is barren.
Her payment is always prompt
but paperclipped with a note complaining
that I have left behind too many wildflowers.

“After the bloom has died,
a wildflower is just another ugly weed.”

Gary Every writes poetry, nature essays, fiction, and science fiction. He has been nominated for the Rhysling Award for the year’s best science fiction poem six times. As a journalist, he has won regional awards for articles such as “The Apache Naichee Ceremony” and “Losing Geronimo’s Language,” both of which are included in his book, Shadow of the OhshaD. He has two science fiction novellas available: Inca Butterflies and The Saint and the Robot. Find him at garyevery.com.

2010 Third Place Winner: “Just Another Word” by Pamela Annas

Just Another Word

For Janis Joplin, 1943-1970

1969. I’m tossing back bourbon
and dancing alone in my living room
to your smoky chain-link barbed-wire voice
biting off chunks of pain.

White girl from Texas growling out the blues,
channeling Big Mama Thornton and Bessie,
the way they rode the blues migration north
to Chicago and New York off the front porches
out of honky tonks and Vaudeville tents
into Saturday night bright lights
and everyone’s house
        the miracle
                of the wind-up
They rewrote what women could do—
and the price.

Forty years later, thumbing your nose
at Port Arthur, Texas, you sped out of town
on a sixties road trip to North Beach and the Haight,
mixed blues, rock, and the beats to sing your throat raw:
        We may not be here tomorrow, no,
                I’d say get it while you can.

Voice big as the Texas sky, explosive as an oil well on fire,
voice of shivers, sugar, and Southern Comfort,
brown velvet and white horse, needles and nettles,
pounding summer sun and never
quite fitting in.

Take another little piece of my heart now, baby.
Break it.

Luminaire Award Medallion Designers

Special thanks and acknowledgment to Devin Byrnes and SuA Kang of Hardly Square, for their creativity in designing our annual medallion imprint. Hardly Square is a strategy-, branding-, and design-based boutique located in Baltimore, Maryland, that specializes in graphic design, web design, and eLearning courses. Their invaluable design expertise has made our annual awards come to life. Learn more about our medallion designers.

Transparency for 2010 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry

Judging spreadsheets and final reports will be updated here shortly.