The end of everything and
everything that comes after that
Winner of the Four Lakes Prize in Poetry
Forthcoming March 2024
“If The End of Everything and Everything That Comes After That had a thesis, it would be these lines: “living in this world feels like being beaten / to death / with a feather pillow.” But that word—thesis. It comes from a Greek root that means “to place,” and who could read these lines and not see how they have been placed, where they have been broken toward complication and specification and even surprise? Nick Lantz breaks lines the way life falls out from under us and drops us into a new obsession, heartbreak, diagnosis, or newscycle. Testicular cancer. The blight of an NRA convention. The choreography of politicians spinning misery into a few poll percentage points. A new Word of the Day, a meditation on which acts as an analogs to Anglo-Saxon riddle. I won’t temper my admiration (or my genial jealousy) for Lantz’s work, so let me tell you: I cannot stop thinking about this book and, perhaps more importantly, I can’t stop feeling it. These poems help me know I’m not “humming / ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself on a remote planet,” like the Mars Curiosity Rover in Lantz’s poem “The Three Types of Knowledge.” I don’t feel alone when I read these poems, even if I feel a shared sense of loneliness with these poems.”—Emilia Phillips, author of Nonbinary Bird of Paradise
"From the brilliant mind of Nick Lantz, this expansive collection thrives in dissonance, pinging from politics, climate, the pandemic, and cancer to pop culture and the small banalities of daily life in America. Both scathing and tender, always surprising, these poems ripped my heart out.”—Cynthia Marie Hoffman, author of Exploding Head
"Lantz’s poems struggle compellingly with the complicity and compartmentalizing of twenty-first-century middle-class American life. The paradox of cancer treatment—injecting poison to keep the patient alive—is a moving analog for this malaise: how much toxicity can we survive? Yet there is a profound tenderness throughout that refuses despair—this is what makes Lantz a brilliant poet of the Anthropocene.”—Nicky Beer, author of Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes
This collection explores the hauntings of the post-cancer body and post-Trump American culture. Poems from the collection have appeared in American Poetry Review, BOAAT, The Collagist, Copper Nickel, Gettysburg Review, Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts, jubilat, Kenyon Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Passages North, The Southern Review, and Best American Poetry 2020.