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Pitt State student wins national collegiate poetry competition

Amanda Trout, sophomore English major, earned first place in a national collegiate poetry competition. The award is from “The Lyric,” the oldest magazine in North America and is devoted to traditional poetry.  

Trout won the competition for her villanelle, “Monster in the Wake of Wind and Rain,” which was in the Winter 2020 issue. It was also the magazine’s 100th anniversary.  

This is not the first time that Trout entered her work in the competition. Last year, Trout placed second.  

“So, I submitted it myself,” Troud said. “I’d actually entered the same contest last year where I got second and then this year, I did… basically the same type of stuff. I submitted three poems and you had to turn them in by mail. So, I mailed in physical copies of them and then waited about three months.”  

Trout was very excited to win this year after coming in second last year.  

“So, it was actually kind of a funny story how I found out (I won),” Trout said. “… I was working on one of my graphics classes in the tech center and my mom called and she’s like, ‘You got a letter from ‘The Lyric,”’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, tell me what’s in it, tell me what’s in it,’ and yeah I was very, very excited to find out that I had won. Especially after coming off only getting second last year. It comes with a pretty nice scholarship too that I get to use for school. So, it was nice.”  

This year was the magazines 100th anniversary which made winning more special according to Trout.  

“So, there’s little magazines they send us, (and last year’s magazine said that) that it was their 99th year, and (I thought) you know it would be really cool to be the person that won the contest the year that they were celebrating their centennial,” Trout said. “So, that made it really exciting to find out that I won it.”  

Since high school Trout has been entering her poetry into competitions.   

“I hadn’t won anything quite on this level,” Trout said. “But when I was in my senior year of high school, I didn’t win any of the individual categories, but I got what’s called the Youth Writer of the Year award… and that was probably the next biggest one I’ve gotten. But I was really excited about getting that one too.”  

Trout’s interest in poetry began in her high school AP literature class.   

“I’ve been writing poetry for a while, for at least the last couple of years,” Trout said. “… I used to be mostly a fiction person, but my inspiration to starting poetry was due to being in my AP English classes in high school and especially in AP Literature, we got to analyze a bunch of different poems. The forms the poems were in always really spoke to me because it’s like you can do so many things with just writing in general but with poetry you can really do some interesting things with how you structure the poems on the page and like every word mattered. That makes it really fun to play around with.”  

Trout hopes to earn her degree and become a college professor or a full-time writer.  

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