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• 2011 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry •

Winners & Finalists 2011

Winners & Finalists for 2011 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry

First Place: “Amphitheater” by Gary Every
Second Place: “Quality Time” by Tim Scannell
Third Place: “Understanding Anita” by Bob Sharkey

2011 First Place Winner: “Amphitheater” by Gary Every


I am stalking wild turkeys
trying to capture the perfect photograph,
a big tom
with bronze feathers and bright red comb
but the silly pudgy bird proves elusive.
I turn deeper into the forest
traveling further and further
between the trees,
giant trees towering high above my head.
Gobbling calls haunt me as I walk,
turkeys roosting in the treetops,
hidden in the shadows,
until I stumble upon
an old abandoned cabin
and just beyond that

a long-forgotten amphitheater.
the trees have been sacrificed,
sawed and planed to make boards
then nailed into benches
arranged in rows like church pews.
The little stage is made of stone
old geological bones
covered with moss and lichen,
a few rocks tumbled out of place.

How strange to stumble upon this location
while I am lost in the woods.
I consider myself a storyteller,
and stand on the stage,
words falling from my tongue
like newborn rain.
Gradually ghosts fill the pews,
a thousand faceless warriors
whispering dialogue of yesteryore
echoes of my hero’s tale,
while ahead and behind me the river
continuously flows.

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.

2011 Second Place Winner: “Quality Time” by Tim Scannell

Quality Time

I use time with obsessive
Care only once during the day:
Getting butter to every corner,
Every goddamned edge of
The toast.

Tim Scannell had over 1,300 credits in over 400 publications, and lived in the woods, hard against the boundary of Olympic National Park, Washington, before he passed away in November 2010.

2011 Third Place Winner: “Understanding Anita” by Bob Sharkey

Understanding Anita

If a hurricane, Ophelia.
Sensing someone behind
watching her hips swivel
beneath the long dress.
A half-turn of the head,
dark, plain firm profile,
the steady look that says,
“you’ll do what I want.”

If a city, New Orleans.
Not a cold virtuous doer
of occasional good deeds.
Loved for being free
of guile and greed.
Innocent despite the fog
of alcohol and smoke.
A salty tear of the sea.

If anything, the tide.
Water catching dull green
from a cannery wall,
tossing it into a brightness.
She stands in unraked sand
looking out at the foam
tinged with red, blood
of the coming storm.

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 2011 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry

Judging spreadsheets and final reports will be updated here shortly.