front cover of The End of Everything and Everything That Comes after That
The End of Everything and Everything That Comes after That
Nick Lantz
University of Wisconsin Press, 2024
A chicken lives for eighteen months after its head is cut off. Tourists pose with an inflatable sex doll at the 9/11 memorial. A sex-reveal party starts a wildfire in a forest named for a conquistador. The author’s cancer treatments are intertwined with the rise of domestic fascism. “Is that something I should put in a poem?” asks Nick Lantz; the resounding answer is yes! 

Mixing sincerity with irony, lyric with vernacular, Lantz’s collisions of style and subject are at their most vibrant in the long sequence at the center of the collection, a series of poems that brilliantly capture the disruption and disorder of our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic in breathless, unpunctuated verse. Depicting the uncanny dissonance of living during and beyond events that feel world ending, this volume reminds us of the ways in which we carry our own traumas and the traumas of history with us in our daily lives.

      Life is all gilded frescoes
and Arnold Palmers 

at the clubhouse until Titus and his men 
      pass through with torches, 
until Cortés and his men 
pass through with torches, until Sherman 

      and his men and so on, 
until men forget 
what their hands looked like without torches.
—Excerpt from “Ruin”

front cover of The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors’ House
The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors’ House
Nick Lantz
University of Wisconsin Press, 2010
Nick Lantz explores the transformative power of tragic and miraculous experiences, through these poems that illuminate near misses of tragedy and transcendence. His gaze is both roving and microscopic—the Challenger explosion, Bigfoot, a love letter written from inside a missile silo, a mother naming and re-naming a family’s short-lived pets, and a plea for post-9/11 redemption. Lantz never lets his subjects or his readers off the hook, plunging head first into worlds that are both eccentric and familiar, alarming and hopeful.

Finalist, Foreword Magazine’s Poetry Book of the Year

front cover of You, Beast
You, Beast
Nick Lantz
University of Wisconsin Press, 2017
With macabre humor, You, Beast explores the roots and limits of human empathy. Nick Lantz examines our strange, absurd, and often brutal relationship with other animals, from roaches scuttling across the kitchen floor to pigs whose heart valves can replace our own. In poems ranging from found text to villanelles, and from short plays to fables, this lyric collection tracks the troubled ways we define our humanity through mythology, language, politics, art, and food.

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