Lucille Medwick Memorial Award - 2022
Allison Benis White
Walk on the Cliff at Pourville
Cameron Awkward-Rich on Allison Benis White
The feeling that I had while reading this poem was that sensation of finding myself beside myself. You know that thing that art does, when you encounter it in the right way at the right time, that way it lets you feel yourself momentarily doubled—here you are suddenly looking at yourself—and in that gap between yourself and yourself opens the possibility of real reflection, “a moment of silence…a moment of clarity”? That feeling. “Walk on the Cliff at Pourville” perfectly tunes the music of a mind worrying and worrying over what it encounters—an aunt’s near-death, an uncanny image, “the list of things that are true”—in defense of the necessity of aesthetic experience in the face of catastrophe. “We must listen to each other talk about the sky,” indeed.