• 2012 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry •

Winners & Finalists 2012

Winners & Finalists for 2012 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry

First Place: “Kind to a Spider” by Tim Staley
Second Place: “Suggestion Box” by Ray Larsen
Third Place: “how to kill a flower” by Sharon Zeisel

2012 First Place Winner: “Kind to a Spider” by Tim Staley

Kind to a Spider

for Sean Branson, 1977-2004

See, it’ll happen like this:
          when I dim the lights
          she’ll unhook her safety line
          so I can put her back
          where she’s never been.
          My drinking glass
          down around her crown
          as magic carpet slips
          between floor, rim,
          under eight limbs
          until cage and foundation
          are one I levitate,
          sure not to be jiggling
          her red hourglass
          through the living room, and when
          the glass ambulance lifts,
          from the paper stretcher she’ll step
          to the perimeter of my property
          and probably, that snake
          won’t eat her, and that wind,
          why should it freeze?

And in this way, Sean, I wish I’d saved you
and your cat from circling your body for days
until finally she’s stuck, whiskers
hard pressed against the window.




Tim Staley was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1975. He completed a Poetry MFA from New Mexico State University in 2004. Poems have appeared in Border Senses, Chiron Review, Circumference, Coe Review, and RHINO. His latest poetry chapbook is The Sickness Suite (Grandma Moses Press). His poems have also been featured on Lively Words, an online reading series. His hobbies include Bocce Ball, canoeing, potty training, and thinking, and he lives with his wife and daughter in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

2012 Second Place Winner: “Suggestion Box” by Ray Larsen

Suggestion Box

Every day upon entering the coliseum,
                                        I see it
Well-crafted from exotic hardwoods
Stolen, I’m sure, from some forest primeval
Hand-polished brass hardware makes certain
All submissions remain confidential
Goddamn thing probably cost more than
                                        I make in a week

Passing by, I project poison through the dark slot
A gill of gall in your hogshead of cream
The unspoken knowledge that if I told you what
                                        I really thought
The linoleum floor would rend beneath your feet
You would become helplessly entangled
In basement chain and sour mop heads—things
                                        you know nothing about

My first suggestion would be to get rid of that box

2012 Third Place Winner: “how to kill a flower” by Sharon Zeisel

how to kill a flower

plant magnolia seeds in rich soil
water responsibly, allow roots to form and drain
flowers should appear in blossom and in color,
thriving in sunshine.

walk away.

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 2012 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry

Judging spreadsheets and final reports will be updated here shortly.