The Unempty Spaces Between
The Unempty Spaces Between, winner of the 2023 NYC Big Book Awards for poetry, is Louis Efron’s debut poetry collection including a selection of some of his previously published poems and many new ones.
The Unempty Spaces Between takes readers back to the early roots of Louis’ writing career as a creative writer.
Through vibrant, dark, and beautiful imagery and poetic verse, this book was born to move us to think, reflect, and look closer at what we are missing in the unempty spaces between.
Praise for The Unempty Spaces Between
Even before you open the pages, the cover captivates you. The barren playground with its solitary swing set and the landscape scarred by the yellow and white lines across the entire cover invite you in.
Nature, elements, matter, light, darkness, colors, and scents come alive on the pages. Words strung together creating new meaning as the imagery comes alive before you. Favorites from this collection: "Beautiful Trees," Empty Attics," "Nicked Wedding Ring," and "God's Garden."
If you gravitate to introspective writing, you'll want to read The Unempty Space Between.
Cheryl C. Malandrinos
A beautiful creation of song and scar, of emotional complexity and simple witness, Louis Efron’s debut collection The Unempty Spaces Between mingles the natural and human worlds in a series of accessible, personal, universal poems. From lush to bare, the landscapes he presents us with are so intertwined with and impacted by our actions that we realize the two have always been one. Brimming with meditations deep as winter snow and boundless compassion and curiosity, these vibrant poems remain grounded in a universal familiarity that opens us up to something greater.
John Sibley Williams
Louis Efron’s collection The Unempty Spaces Between reveals a reverence for nature and personal connection that reminds us of Mary Oliver’s gorgeous nature poems. He uses language beautifully to tell us that tides “scar the sand,” “petals color the earth/a sweet jazz composition,” and “death can be a beautiful thing…unleashing the pent-up coil spring.” These poems are a deep meditation on emptiness and the searching soul.
The Unempty Spaces Between proves an apt title for this collection of poems by Louis Efron. These poems are tightly woven, efficient with their language, and visually make use of white space between the lines. Many of the pieces descend down the page, inviting the reader to delve deeper, by providing the room to breathe. From the first lovely poem to the last, the collection employs rich and vivid imagery, to be savored and reimagined with each reading.
What a simple luxury to read and soak in Louis Efron’s poetry in his book The Unempty Spaces Between. His deeply personal poems arouse the senses with visually inducing words such as “i blew out the sun like a candle . . .” that are enhanced by their unique form to create transforming imagery and meaning. A wonderful read for introspection.
Michelle J. Kaplan
The Unempty Spaces Between explores the gaps that separate us from nature, from spirit, and from each other. Louis Efron manages to fill in these “spaces between” without hyperbolic bluster or sugary metaphor. His elegiac poems take us straight to the hurt and grant a little bit of harmony to all of us “mourning our ebbing earth.”
Eric D. Lehman
The Unempty Spaces Between by Louis Efron is a refreshing work of poetry. Refreshing is the respect given to the craft of poetry. In the poetic world, where prose poetry dominates the landscape, it’s refreshing to read poems marked by form and end-rhymes; notwithstanding, the journey the reader will take processing the metaphoric. Evidence of form, rhyme, and the metaphoric are signified in the poems Lost, A Candle with Two Wicks, and Spaces Between, to name a few. This work of poetry is worthy of a good read and the time of those who enjoy serious writing.
Haunting, harrowing and frighteningly incisive, Louis Efron’s dark narrative poems incite terror, provoke gut wrenching memories and invite personal reflection. A nightmarish adventure—what could be better? The Unempty Spaces Between is one of my favorite afternoon reads in a decade. In his own words, “a poetic inferno,” but to my mind it’s “a welcome assault on the senses.
Jim Volz, Ph.D.
The Unempty Spaces Between is the product of a fellow seeker, who lives on purpose and knows that each word counts, just like each deep breath. I especially enjoyed reflecting on "God’s Garden” and “Cracked” and the poetic verse of “End Game” and "Oh, Father,” to name a few. Louis Efron’s debut poetry collection helps us to appreciate the value of living a full life, not an empty one.