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Categories Chapbooks, Nomadic, Poetry

A Heart Full of Hallways

Publication Date: January 2020


This title is no longer available for purchase through Black Lawrence Press, but it is available from most online book retailers. Better yet, your local bookstore should be able to order a copy for you.

Wholesale customers, please purchase this title through Ingram.

In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. A Heart Full of Hallways was originally published by Nomadic.

A Heart Full of Hallways is about being young and unsure and American. It’s at once a rallying cry written in the language of a nature poem, and an earnest look at what it feels like to be lost inside one’s own head. Walking the line between external and internal experiences, this collection wants to talk about what it means to be human.


Greer Nakadegawa-Lee has a way of answering questions that I, the reader, hadn’t known I was asking—of distilling paradoxes into new truths. It may be that young writers are less frightened of the big questions, but the empathic wisdom in these poems belies their author’s age. In this lyric, exquisite collection, Nakadegawa-Lee sings the agonies of separateness and the transcendent ecstasies of communion. Pro-immigrant, anti-racist, and pro-environment, this book is verse in action, a tool to fight injustice, build resistance, deepen understanding, and conjure an irresistible future.

-Sophia Dahlin

In her shimmering debut, Nakadegawa-Lee weaves together dreamy curiosities, an unflinching analysis of origins and history, and a cutting introspection becoming of someone well beyond her years. A Heart Full of Hallways is an ode to growing up, a resolute criticism of the status quo, and a touching tribute to the beauty of simply being alive all at once. “When I write/Isn’t it just me, calling out, saying/Please. I want to be remembered,” she writes; no door is left unopened and no heartstring left intact in this stunning offering of self.

-Samuel Getachew

Open the covers of A Heart Full of Hallways and you open your door to a fierce new voice, as uncompromising with the self and world as Julia de Burgos, as wildly metaphoric as Pablo Neruda. In her debut collection of poetry, Greer Nakadegawa-Lee probes the mazes between people and the puzzle that is our flag, our country. Garnering all elements of fire, water, air and earth, she scans (her) existence in this time and place on an epic scale, the deep voices of her poetic ancestors accompanying her.
-Sharon Coleman

The birth of a writer’s first book is a joyous occasion and celebrating an emerging writer even more so. It is truly exciting to welcome Greer Nakadegawa-Lee into the literary world whose work is rich with keen observation, depth, and reflection. In one passage Nakadegawa-Lee captures the complex nature of being a woman identified person in our time, Call me a woman./Call me a tree. /Either way I fight to take up my space. /Either way it is a small miracle I am still alive when men have invented terrible uses for my/body. It is with great enthusiasm and urgency that I encourage lovers of poetry to read Nakadegawa-Lee’s new collection.
-MK Chavez

About the Author

Greer Nakadegawa-Lee

Greer Nakadegawa-Lee is an illustrator and poet from Oakland, California. She is the author of the poetry chapbook A Heart Full of Hallways and was the 2020 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. Her illustrations can be found in multiple Chapter 510 publications, and in educational materials for the de Young Museum. She is currently a sophomore at the Rhode Island School of Design, and she’s probably reading comics right now.

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