Poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
Approaching Valhalla centers on a parent struggling with PTSD, trying to locate where their triggers came from and desperately seeking purpose. The work also deals with suicide, intergenerational trauma, and the ways we seek soothing in others. Ultimately, it is about the journey of discovery, unmasking, and deconstructing with the hope to build anew. It is about seeking out internalized violence and placating it, redirecting it, and severing the intergenerational hold it has on family.
The chapbook focuses on the full deconstruction and beginning of reconstruction of both the parent-child relationship and the self, and the realization that the later has a direct effect on the prior. The memoir-like poems explore PTSD, suicide, intrusive thoughts, and most importantly the hope for growth.
Chris Allen (they/them) is a nonbinary parent whose writing centers on family, trauma, and shedding masks. Their works are published or forthcoming with Consequence, Defunkt Magazine, Glass Mountain, Press Pause, and Carmina Magazine. They won the Lillie Robertson Prize for poetry. They are an MFA candidate at Oklahoma State University.