Jay Halsey said, "I'm not interested in presenting photos of how landscapes/urbanscapes look exactly in real life. I'm interested in showing how they make me feel on a personal level." Jay's photos alone occupy that personal/emotional translation space, and the written pieces that accompany the photos in Barely Half in an Awkward Line, transports us to an additional translation space that allows us to feel deeply. Jay accomplishes this by giving us our own/new points of view and perspectives.
- Steven Dunn, author of Potted Meat and water & power (Tarpaulin Sky Press)
Jay Halsey's debut work Barely Half in an Awkward Line takes the reader into liminal spaces, where dualities exist but are often ignored or overlooked. His poetry, prose, and photographs ask the reader to linger in the sacred spaces where urban and rural meet in oft-overlooked visual and linguistic intersections. His work draws the reader's attention to the fault lines that prevail in the aching dichotomy, eliciting deeper consideration of the powerful heartbeat of humanity. He draws our attention to the boundaries of nature, asphalt, and the skipped-over cracks where they exist together. Within this complex, haunting vision, Halsey invites the reader to interact-despite the powerful unease and tension of worlds and their borderlands. His words and visuals are charged with the powerful potential for violence, change, and hope, asking us to open our eyes to what is unseen or relegated to ambivalence. Barely Half in an Awkward Line is one of the most powerful books of 2022, a stunning debut, a book you will never forget.
- Brenda S. Tolian, author of Blood Mountain (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Jay Halsey's multiformal book flashes through a field of vision sutured together from intricately exploded moments, sewn tenderly back together, slowing down to examine the pores and creases. It sees our seams feelingly. It floats sleeplessly above the "rusty ballast" of the city. It enumerates the hidden minerals composing our antlers.
- Eric Baus, author of How I Became a Hum (Octopus Books) and The Tranquilized Tongue (City Lights)