Senior Spotlight: Victoria White
by The Milton Measure on Friday, June 6th, 2014
Due to the immense amount of artistic talent here at Milton Academy, finding one person who really excels in his or her area of work can be difficult. Victoria White (I), however, is a nationally recognized writer whose art stands out even in an environment like Milton. Her poems “Elephant Grave” and “Oncology” are just two in her repertoire of poems that have won national prizes and have been published in poetry magazines.
From a young age, Victoria knew that she wanted to write. This artistic impulse stemmed from her love of reading, a love that caused her to “want to write something that would affect people and resonate with them as much as some of the stories did for me” said Victoria. Although she had all the ideas that she wanted to portray, Victoria found that Milton endowed her with the tools she needed to depict them as accurately as she wanted. She commented that her participation in both the regular and advanced creative writing courses greatly improved her writing, especially with their workshopping formats that allowed for other students to critique her work.
Victoria cites poetry as her favorite medium because she can “pack so much power into such a small amount of space.” When she revises her poems, Victoria concentrates that power to condense the impact into a few brief lines. Though she demonstrates a prodigious talent for poetry, she is not exclusive in her media; if Victoria finds a character that she really finds herself attached to, she will portray that character through a short story; at other simes, she’ll try voicing it through flash fiction. Her intense affinity with language, however, always draws her back to writing poetry.
Victoria is fulfilled and happy with her work only when she feels a sense that her truths and emotions have been conveyed fully. One of her favorites of her own pieces, “Oncology,” follows these guidelines with such success that it won the Nancy Thorpe Poetry Contest and was published in the Hollins University Student Annual Literary Magazine: Cargoes. The seven short lines of the poem, simple in structure but powerful in content, perfectly portray the helplessness and fear that one feels witnessing someone suffering through an illness.
Finding inspiration sometimes proves difficult for Victoria, as she needs the right image to kickstart the writing process. At one point this year, after forgoing writing for a period of time, “the way that the light catches the leaves and turns more gold as the sun starts to set” caught her eye as she walked around campus. This image helped her pen the phrase “light’s slow motion into honey on the leaves,” launching her into her next poem. She wants language like this to leave her readers with ideas that they cannot quite explain; descriptive writing is her way of extracting emotions from a reader. The final contrast of the simplicity of the writing style with the profundity of her message renders Victoria and her writing that much more awe-inspiring.
In regard to the future, Victoria will embark on a writing journey that starts at Stanford University. Her strong work ethic—her policy of crafting a piece of writing until it is well and truly—will surely serve her well in her college endeavors. Victoria has been an integral part of the arts here at Milton, and our community will miss her influence and talent.
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