NASHVILLE — A Tusculum University student recently added to his collection of writing awards with a first place finish in the Poet’s Playground contest of The Tennessee Magazine.

Cole Robertsen, a sophomore who is pursuing an English degree at the Greeneville-based Tusculum, with a concentration in creative writing, was selected as the winner in the 19-22 age group for his poem “Walk Through My Sunset.” The poem was published in the magazine’s December edition.

This continues a streak since 2010 in which at least one Tusculum creative writing student has been published each semester. Wayne Thomas, dean of the College of Civic and Liberal Arts, said this consistent stream of published writers demonstrates the value of a Tusculum education and the strength of the creative writing program.

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association publishes The Tennessee Magazine. The magazine is the most widely circulated monthly publication in Tennessee. The magazine staff strives to find the most interesting people across the state and spotlight their unique jobs, talents and interests.

Robertsen said he has submitted to the magazine three times and been published in each instance. He finished in first place and second place the other two times he submitted. He also received an award of recognition from Walters State Community College in a creative writing competition and was published in that institution’s journal, Among These Hills.

As a Tusculum student, Robertsen served as an assistant genre editor for Volume 16 of The Tusculum Review, the university’s in-house international literary journal, which was released in November. He said poetry and analytical essays are his top writing interests.

“We are pleased, but not surprised, Cole’s poetry was selected again for publication in this prestigious magazine,” Thomas said. “Cole has shown impressive writing skill at this stage in his professional development and is committed to honing his craft. We anticipate he will achieve further success and become yet another quality writer to emerge from our creative writing program.”

To read Robertsen’s most recent winning poem, go online to

For more information about the university’s English program, go online to

Building on a rich Presbyterian heritage and a pioneering spirit, Tusculum University provides an active and experiential education within a caring Christian environment to inspire civic engagement, enrich personal lives and equip career-ready professionals, according to information from the school.

Tusculum is the first higher education institution in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the nation. Students are enrolled on the main campus in Greeneville, at facilities in Knoxville and Morristown and in online programs.