The Penguin Post recently hosted an open poetry competition. Students were encouraged to write poems on the subject of their choosing and in any form. We asked Dr. Adrienne Raphel, poet, author, Princeton writing instructor and friend of Dr. Trout to judge, and she offered to send a copy of her first poetry book, What Was It For, as inspiration for our budding poets. Although the Penguin Post committee met to narrow down our submissions, they were so excellent that all were sent to her.

Dr. Raphel placed “Dear Men” by Caitlin Duffy in Third Place, saying that she “cannot stop thinking about it.”

She selected “Grief on Wings” by Molly Tittiemore for Second Place, noting that she admired the “epic ambition” and melodramatic elements of the work.

She chose “Her” by Addie Hogan as the First Place poem, praising “the way the rhyme scheme switches in the final stanza of “Her” to become a couplet is a triumph — overcoming wavering doubt to proclaim love — also the weird long line hooking the jeans in this very controlled quatrain structure.”

Congratulations to our winners and to everyone who submitted poems! Click on each student photo to read their winning poem.

Dr, Raphel has published essays, poems, and excerpts from her book on crossword puzzles in the New Yorker, New York Times, Paris Review, Atlantic, Slate, and other publications. She teaches writing at Princeton during the academic year and writing workshops, including poetry workshops, in the summer.

Her
by Addie Hogan, ’25

Grief on The Wings of Fallen Memories
by Molly Tittemore ’25

Dear Men
by Cailtin Duffy ’24