We’ve had a blast reading the dozens of poems submitted to our Book Spine Poetry Photo Contest over the past few weeks. They’ve run the gamut from wise to witty, from utterly sublime to laugh-out-loud silly — and we’ve marveled above all at the cleverness and ingenuity of our readers, who have succeeded in turning seemingly random stacks of book spines into quality literature.

Later this week, we’ll celebrate some of the notable poems that didn’t win prizes in our contest; today’s post, however, is dedicated to celebrating the poems that did.

Our hearty congratulations go out to Myles Werntz, Adam Marquez, Jennifer Holberg, and Jessica Sweets, whose poems earned them the highest tallies in our popular vote — and gift certificates to Eerdmans.

Grand Prize Winner:
“To Speak For Oneself”

Myles Werntz won the $100 grand prize for his poem “To Speak For Oneself,” the text of which reads as follows:

Bearing True Witness
To Will & To Do
For the Nations
In Our Own Voices
The Original Revolution

Second Prize Winner:
“Soteriological Whimsy”

Adam Marquez won the $50 second prize for his poem “Soteriological Whimsy,” the text of which reads as follows:

At the Start
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
The Good of Affluence
Addicted to Mediocrity
Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal
Death & Dissymmetry
Souls on Fire
Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be
The End of the World . . . As We Know It
Deep Memory, Exuberant Hope
How Should We Then Live?
The Genesis of Justice
The Meaning in the Miracles
The Creative Word
The Bible and Healing
Abiding Astonishment
The Hiding Place

Third Prize Winner (1):
“All that We Behold is Full of Blessing”

Jennifer Holberg won the first of two $25 third prizes for her poem “All that We Behold is Full of Blessing,” the text of which reads as follows:

The Sun Also Rises
Shadows on the Rock
A River of Words
The Year of the Flood
Otherwise
Signs and Wonders

Third Prize Winner (2):
“The Church and Chicken Soup”

Jessica Sweets won the second of two $25 third prizes for her poem “The Church and Chicken Soup,” the text of which reads as follows:

The Church
A Gathered People
Thirsty for God
Come to the Table
Satisfy Your Soul
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Being Consumed
In the Name of Jesus

Thanks again to everyone who participated — and congratulations to our four winners!