The Luminaire Award  is awarded annually to one work of poetry and one work of prose that has been submitted to and published by Alternating Current. Every piece of writing submitted to our press is considered for the award. Prior to the 2013 award, only poetry was considered, the judging panel consisted of only Alternating Current editors, and no honorariums were given.

All winning pieces are published in our annual literary journal, Poiesis, and online at our website. The winners also receive complimentary copies of the journal with their winning pieces indicated with our medallion imprint, the use of the medallion imprint on their own websites and book collections, a $100 honorarium, a certificate, and a laser-engraved standing desk award. All winning pieces are now chosen by a select panel of editors, publishers, writing instructors, literary organization members, and/or published authors invited by our press to participate. The 2012 winners were featured in Poiesis #5. Two Honorable Mention winners are also awarded publication and a certificate.





• 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.






• 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




• 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.