By Zachary Kluckman
Focusing on the invisible sway and pull of grief, as seen through a lens of mental health experiences that inform the narrative voice, Rearview Funhouse is a collection of poems that seeks to put the spectacle of loss and what comes after on vibrant and aching display, asking the reader to consider –or reconsider – the ways that we collectively process loss and the expectations we place on the grieving. Exploring multiple forms of loss, Rearview Funhouse acknowledges the roles of the living and the departed in the experience of moving through and moving on.
Zachary Kluckman is a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medal Poetry Teacher, an organizer with the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program and a 2021 Thomas Lux scholar. He was one of three American poets invited to the Kistrech International Poetry Festival. Kluckman is the founder of MindWell Poetry, dedicated to safe spaces and advocating for those who have been marginalized due to mental health experiences, and has authored two previous poetry collections.
"In Zachary Kluckman’s beautiful Rear View Funhouse stanzas make space for memory and nature divorces music from its darkness. In these lyrical poems, Kluckman resurrects holidays that hold a history of blood and its debts. Grief’s weight lives in the bones of these images, these bodies of water and ash, these cicadas coating the trees, these storms trying to mirror our inner weather. Through all this remembrance, Kluckman transforms the past, all the while knowing beholding the memory in its brightest stillness is “as close as we come to forgiveness.” Read this book and be seen, be held, be forgiven." -Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nodand Our Lady of the Ruins
"Zachary Kluckman strikes a dynamic balance between accessible meaning and musical leaps. He offers evocative observations on depression and explores how we relate to the notion of God (including how desperation makes at least occasional believers of us all). He gives us an arresting portrait of people at a funeral, how they hold and resist their grief, as well as vignettes that highlight the tragedies and joys we all encounter as we navigate this life. With Rear View Funhouse, Kluckman captures our lives in exquisite and disturbing detail. His images resonate as vivid, his metaphors as well-crafted; his insights are infused with wisdom." —John Amen, author of strange theater, editor of Pedestal Magazine