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ISBN: 978-1-955239-30-1
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Categories Nomadic, Poetry

In Between Places

Publication Date: June 2022


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. In Between Places was originally published by Nomadic.

In Between Places lyrically explores family mythology and the fallibility of memory. The poems act as mile markers in a Black woman’s literal and figurative journey across decades and across the country, in a search for home in different cities—and people. From a sense of longing and displacement, the collection arrives in a place of stability, resilience, and triumph.


In Between Places plants Lauren Wheeler as a force of nature in the American Poetry landscape. This first book is a gorgeous and lush indictment of family, love, race, and American culture. From the Great Lakes to NYC to California – Wheeler forges a path full of empathy, cynicism, self preservation, and love – so much love. Her words are so attuned to the beauty and pain that surround us that her poems can seduce you in the same moment that they break your heart. The power and delicacy of her craft uncovers that rare moment where – by digging into and laying bare the core specificities of her own life and experience – she creates a universal truth that shows you your own heart.
Cindy Emch

Wheeler’s debut collection archives the lost and left. Its poems toggle between presence and absence, avoidance and collision, intimacy and estrangement. Objects like a Craigslist bed and trashed concert flyers become memorabilia of the almost, records of fracture and displacement. Wheeler minds the gaps with acerbic lines, chronicling an inherited impermanence with wit. “My grandmother left me leaving,” she writes. That heirloom wanders with readers through coffee shops, public toilets, the apartments of lovers and strangers. In Between Places makes and unmakes home with each poem, grieving the transience of “always leaving from, never going to” while savoring the hard-fought arrivals: “Tonight we are saved.”
Kemi Alabi, author of Against Heaven, winner of the Academy of American Poets First Book Award

About the Author

Lauren L. Wheeler

Lauren L. Wheeler writes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and what happens when they rub up against each other. A recovering slam poet, she twice competed at the National Poetry Slam and has featured at Cornell University, where she studied English Literature, as well as in Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Lauren is the author of the poetry collection In Between Places (Nomadic Press, 2022). Her work has appeared online and in print in such publications as PANK, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, and the pop-culture website Black Nerd Problems. Lauren also has spent most of the last two decades working in the tech industry as a producer, program manager, product manager — all the jobs that start with a P. She’s worked on video games (notably The Sims and Star Wars:  The Old Republic), consumer robots (Cozmo and Anki Overdrive), and recently, self-driving cars at Cruise. Lauren also has experience in marketing, political organizing and communications, and is a proud Arena Summit alum. Lauren lives with her kid, spouse, and two brown dogs in West Oakland, California, also known as xučyun (Huichin), the unceded ancestral territory of the Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone people. She believes in paying her taxes. You can find her doomscrolling on Twitter as @fightingwords and posting ocular proof on Instagram at @fightingw0rds.

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