the lightning that strikes the neighbors' house
winner of the Felix pollak Prize in Poetry
"Lantz is a poet of many talents, but perhaps his greatest gift is juxtaposition. . . . We listen, amazed, as in poem after poem these notations we would have thought dissonant in fact harmonize, and then crescendo. That I can't figure out how he does it just heightens the thrill." —Joel Brouwer
"Blending pop culture with history, dark humor with philosophy, and lyric intensity with a confident narrative voice, The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors' House adds up to be far greater than the sum of its parts. The end result is a wise, intelligent book that lingers long after being read, and which further proves that Nick Lantz —despite the lethal irony of his work—is a poet to be believed in."—Kevin González
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 renaming 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.