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ISBN: 978-1-73233-401-4
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Categories Nomadic, Poetry


Publication Date: June 2018


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Collapse was originally published by Nomadic.

Collapse is a doomed love, temporary, free on bond, haunted by rage and regret, fueled by Hip-Hop beats, and clinging like the remains of the Ghost Ship fire—with the world burning around us, it is time and place, politics and anarchy, connection for the broken.


Throughout Collapse you feel the exhaustion and weight that brings you to your knees—death, police brutality, social abandonment, fascism, lovelessness–and the endless desire to be whole, together, and home again. Dallett is writing both dirge and homage to the pre-gentrification days of San Francisco, to celebrities who passed in 2016—Prince, Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Afeni Shakur—and their wise words, their music that resides in the body, reminding us of when we were young, naïve, and brave. In this collection, Dallett is sorting through the rumble of this American democracy, untangling the rhetoric that ensnares our consciousness, and building again from what has fallen something tender and strong that makes survival possible, necessary. Collapse awakens us to the here and now, to the importance of taking account of our historical moment so it is not forgotten “where thinking people go from here.”
Arisa White, author of You’re the Most Beautiful Thing that Happened(2017) and Black Pearl(2016)

The first two times I read Cassandra Dallett’s Collapse, I could not write about it. Don’t get me wrong I went and wrote two of my favorite poems, babies in fact, but I couldn’t say anything about the book. Dallett writes lines that hit you in the lizard brain, that hit you in the fallopian tubes. Sometimes things get loud, sometimes they have to. The poet asks, “What are we running from the pussy grabbers are everywhere,” and how would you call for us to claim and stand our ground?These poems are deep tissue, intervention level, grown-ass invocations. Dallett’s poems wear no masks.
Kim Shuck, 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco

Collapse is the sorrow song of recent years but it is also a relentless opera of resilience. Cassandra Dallett is as erudite in her detailing of the debris falling all around us as she is in her description of our obstinate glory. These poems applaud our refusal to collapse even when everything else does.
Sonya Renee Taylor, author of The Body is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

Cassandra Dallett is our greatest composer. As she disembodies this society’s narcissism, who will the mirror eat next? Through Collapse she never flinches. White-owned problems; your old neighbors’ tents; people in power who know that there will never be a new America; and none who will make it out of the broadcast alive. She is her loved-ones’ greatest revenge. For the next modernization of art, Dallett is the only poet we need.
Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of Heaven is All Goodbyes(2017) and Someone’s Dead Already(2015)

About the Author

© Rohan DaCosta

Cassandra Dallett

Cassandra Dallett has been published in many online and print magazines, was named a writer to watch in 7x7 magazine. Cassandra hosts the monthly writing workshop OnTwoSix, and co-hosts the quarterly reading series Moon Drop Productions. Her first full-length book of poetry Wet Reckless (Manic D Press) was released in 2014. In 2015, she authored five chapbooks one of them, On Sunday, A Finch (Nomadic Press) was nominated for a California Book Award, 2018 brought the release of another full-length collection, Collapse, also on Nomadic Press, most recently A Pretty Little Wilderness on Be About it Press 2020,  look for links at

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