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Book Title

How to Dance as the Roof Caves In

Author 1
Nick Lantz
Poem Excerpt
It's fast and cool as running water, the way we forget
the names of friends with whom we talked and talked
the long drives up and down the coast.

I say I love and I love and I love. However, the window
will not close. However, the hawk searches
for its nest after a storm. However, the discarded
nail longs to hide its nakedness inside the tire.
—from “Fork with Two Tines Pushed Together”
How to Dance as the Roof Caves In examines America facing a recession of collective mood and collective wealth. In a central sequence, the “housing bubble” reaches its bursting point when, with hilarious and biting outcomes, real estate developers hire a married couple and other down-and-out “extras” to stage a fake community to lure perspective investors. In these marvelous poems, Nick Lantz describes the changing American landscape with great imagination and sharp wit.

“An unsettling Jeremiad leveled at today’s America. . . . Nick Lantz has taken his place among the central poets of his generation.”—David Wojahn
“Nick Lantz is a dark satirist, a subversive eye trained on the waste lawns of suburbia and a cunning ear attuned to the frighteningly funny bits of language that assail us in mass media. At the same time, he is a heartbreaker, a poet who'd risk it all for love.”—D. A. Powell

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“Nick Lantz writes with elegant simplicity. Most poets take a lifetime to learn as much.”—Linda Gregerson

About the Author

Nick  Lantz
Credit: Vicky Lantz
Nick Lantz is the author of How to Dance as the Roof Caves In, and two previous poetry collections, We Don’t Know We Don’t Know, winner of the Bakeless Prize in Poetry, and The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors’ House, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. He teaches at Sam Houston State University and lives in Texas.
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  • “Extremely accessible, written in ceaselessly entertaining, almost prose-like lines, and full of wisdom. . . . [L]ight-hearted darkness, one of the true ways contemporary America sees itself.”—Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR
  • “Lantz’s tactic is to show us the ludicrous in our daily life machines. . . . For consumers of poetry, you can’t find a better buy.”Washington Independent Review of Books
  • “Lantz’s lyrics are by turns blunt and delicate, confrontational and full of lamentation.”Booklist
  • “Satirical and darkly comic. . . . Lantz doesn’t obfuscate; urgently employing direct expression, his poems ‘let the path of a bird circling / a field describe the dome.’”Publishers Weekly
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