Halfway From Home: Essays

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Article number: Montgomery HFH
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About the Book

When she left a chaotic home at eighteen, Sarah Fawn Montgomery chased restlessness, claiming places on the West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast, while determined never to settle. But it is difficult to move forward when she longs for the past. Now her family is ravaged by addiction, illness, and poverty; the country is increasingly divided; and the natural worlds in which she seeks solace are under siege by wildfire, tornados, and unrelenting storms. Turning to nostalgia as a way to grieve a rapidly-changing world, Montgomery excavates the stories and scars we bury, unearthing literal and metaphorical childhood time capsules and treasures.

Blending lyric memoir with lamenting cultural critique, Montgomery examines contemporary longing and desire, sorrow and ache, searching for how to build a home when human connection is disappearing, and how to live meaningfully when our sense of self is uncertain in a fractured world. Taking readers from the tide pools and monarch groves of California, to the fossil beds and grass prairies of Nebraska, to the scrimshaw shops and tangled forests of Massachusetts, Montgomery holds a mirror up to America and asks us to reflect on our past before we run out of time to save our future. Halfway from Home grieves a vanishing world while offering—amidst emotional and environmental collapse—ways to discover hope, healing, and home.

Split/Lip Press (September 19, 2022) • Paperback: 194 pages

About the Author

Sarah Fawn Montgomery is the author of Halfway from Home (Split/Lip Press, 2022) and Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir (The Ohio State University Press, 2018), as well as three poetry chapbooks. Her work has been listed as notable several times in Best American Essays, and her poetry and prose have appeared in various magazines including Bellingham Review, Brevity, Cincinnati Review, DIAGRAM, Electric Literature, Fourth Genre, Literary Hub, New England Review, The Poetry Foundation, The Rumpus, Southeast Review, Sycamore Review, I and others. She is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University, where she teaches creative writing and disability studies.



"Intensely intimate, the brilliant essays in Halfway from Home offer a deep dive into the vagaries of family and time."

—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire

"Montgomery has written a gorgeous, deeply felt ode to the search for belonging, to the deeply human act of seeking to find a place we might call our own."

—Melissa Faliveno, author of Tomboyland

"Sarah Fawn Montgomery writes with the finely moderated combination of generous vulnerability and searing intellect as she ventures with lyric intensity into the subject of climate change and its intersection with race, gender, political and social policy, and family. Halfway from Home is a work of urgency, sensibility, and immediacy."

—Kwame Dawes, editor of Prairie Schooner

"In Halfway from Home, Montgomery brilliantly folds self into place, making it clear that the two cannot be separated. Montgomery’s longing for a better place burns with a kind of brilliance only someone with such profound insight can set alight."

—Nicole Walker, author of Sustainability: A Love Story


“Simultaneously beautiful and tragic, nostalgic and despondent…Brilliant.”

Kirkus Reviews


“Insights, discovery, longing and revelation that is rooted in archaeology, geology, and the world of nature . . . one of the most compelling collections this year.”

Midwest Book Review


“Every page contains stunning details, often rendered in sensuous language...An accomplished collection of thoughtful meditations on home, nature, and family.” —Suzanne Kamata, Foreword Reviews

"An intimate poetic excavation of the search for meaning in a life on a planet that’s burning."

—Joe Walters, Independent Book Review

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