Poetry, chapbook, 32 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
“My wings burned / as I fell, / my eyes / transfixed / on the clouds, halo / searing my temples.
I think / the angels were relieved / to see me fail.
I think / I was, too."
Religious Trauma in the Key of Poetry is a literary passage through the childhood and adolescence of a lesbian woman brought up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The author explores experiences and emotions that arise in relation to lack of autonomy while growing up in a culture that tells queer individuals that they were created incorrectly.
The author draws inspiration from real-life moments such as her baptism, childhood daydreams, awkward church dances, and her first time trying coffee in order to fully process and contemplate her upbringing. Religious Trauma in the Key of Poetry is a poignant take on what it means to reject what a culture demands you must be, and instead, become your own individual.
Makenzie Beckstead will graduate with a B.A. degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis from Utah Valley University in December 2023. Her work has been included in publications such as Same Faces Collective, Kalopsia Literary Journal, and potted purple. She lives in Utah with her partner, Paige, and their two dogs. She can be found on Instagram: @kenz_beckstead.