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1.12.2016


The 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry
FIRST PLACE WINNER

We are pleased to announce the first place winner for The 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, honoring the independent press’ best poem of the year. The winner is selected by an external panel that judges all pieces blindly and selects the full list of finalists. Alternating Current does not determine the final outcome for the judging; the external judges’ decisions are final. The first place winner receives a printed certificate, an honorarium, publication on Alternating Current’s award page, publication on The Spark, printed publication in the forthcoming triennial awards anthology Carefully Peeled Edges: The Luminaire Award Anthology 2014-2016 with the selection indicated, and our virtual medallion created by the lovely folks at Hardly Square, for personal and professional use on the author’s websites, blogs, social profiles, and book covers. We proudly present the first place winner:


Baldwin Apples
SARAH ANN WINN

In October, their vinegar
drew bees or decay’s sweetening
drew bees. We brought bushel baskets
and sorted. Some for the compost,
the gently bruised for pies. The best,
those half-gone with pocked, perfect skin
still a little green, for canning
and apple butter. The Baldwins
lured me to the kitchen counter.
The turn-and-scraping colander
mill when the cooked apples were poured in—
the splashed juice hot and delicious.
Space made by adding cooked apples
carefully. She tipped the ancient
Dutch oven, and my idea
of plenty poured down. I didn’t
dare move or some would go to waste.
Save some for later, she said. Now
we restock the canned-goods cupboard.
No beauty goes to waste here. Fill
the shelf. Put up for lean winter
the sweet of slowly gathering
afternoon, that long fragrant bake,
the whole house cooked up, and browned with
cinnamon. In winter, the sound
of that seal breaking snaps me back
to sorting apples in the sun.
Their scent rolled from Atalanta’s
fingers, the breath of Eve before she bit.


SARAH ANN WINN’s poems have appeared or are upcoming in Cider Press Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Massachusetts Review, Passages North, and Quarterly West, among others. Look for her micro chapbook, Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, from Porkbelly Press in May 2016. Her first chapbook, Portage, is available as a free e-chap from Sundress Publications. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts from George Mason University, as well as a Masters in Library Science from Catholic University of America, and is currently a free-range librarian in Manassas, Virginia, where she lives with her husband, two sweet beagle/lab mix dogs, and one bad cat. Visit her at bluebirdwords.com or follow her @blueaisling on Twitter.

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