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About the Book

Charting the life of "The Astronaut," a lonely boy who becomes a man desperate to escape his world of disappointment and despair for the hope and redemption of the skies, this collection reflects on the power of imagination to craft new narratives and realities, to alter what is in favor of what might be, and to elevate us from the world we inhabit, though we are inevitably brought crashing back down to Earth.


"The Astronaut Checks His Watch is a book of profound empathy, humility, and grace. Montgomery has created an alchemical blend of image, story, and essayistic exploration that takes the reader deep into the psychological and emotional reality of The Astronaut, a tragic hero whose big dreams transcend the gritty, violent and brutal world in which he lives. Reaching to the sky and to the facts and language of astronomy and to the world beyond, the poems seduce and tease the reader, constantly surprising and satisfying with every turn."
— Steven Church, author of Ultrasonic
"Strikingly intelligent and deeply political at its core, The Astronaut Checks His Watch reads as a novel in verse—made of poems that examine, with unflinching clarity, the endless possibility and sorrow of imagination, the tragic and redemptive power of imagining ourselves out of this life and into another. Sarah Fawn Montgomery gives us 'a boy hanging stars to wish on later' and his classically American Dream is both what saves him and what renders him entirely alone."
— Stacey Waite, author of Butch Geography
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