The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of nonfiction! We’re joined by Sarah Fawn Montgomery to discuss her new essay collection, Halfway from Home. She is in conversation with essayist Melissa Faliveno.
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We encourage you to order a copy of the book from your local, independent bookseller or online through the publisher.
Sarah Fawn Montgomery is the author of the lyric essay collection Halfway from Home, which is forthcoming with Split/Lip Press in November of 2022. She is also the author of Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir, as well as three poetry chapbooks. Her work has been listed as notable many times in Best American Essays, and her poetry and prose have appeared in various magazines including Brevity, Catapult, Cincinnati Review, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, New England Review, Poetry, The Rumpus, Southeast Review, Terrain and others. She holds an MFA from California State University-Fresno and a PhD from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was the longtime nonfiction editor of Prairie Schooner. She is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University, where she teaches creative writing and disability studies.
Melissa Faliveno is the author of the essay collection TOMBOYLAND, named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR, New York Public Library, Oprah Magazine, and Electric Literature, and the recipient of a 2021 Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her work has appeared in Esquire, Paris Review, Bitch, Lit Hub, Brooklyn Rail, and Prairie Schooner, among others, and in the anthology Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Update Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic, published in May 2022 by Harper Perennial. The former senior editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, she has taught creative writing at Kenyon College, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Catapult, and Sarah Lawrence College, where she earned an MFA. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Denison University and on the MFA faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
About Halfway from Home
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.