Zachary Kluckman is a multi-award winning poet, author and spoken word artist recently recognized by the National Poetry Awards as the 2015 Slam Organizer of the Year and 2014 Slam Artist of the Year. He was recently crowned 2015 Slam of Enchantment Grand Slam Champion. With multiple appearances at the National Poetry Slam, the Individual World Poetry Slam, and numerous regional competitions, as well as nationwide touring, Kluckman has earned a reputation for blending powerful performance, original perspectives and carefully constructed writing into a focused, unforgettable artistic expression.
Kluckman has performed, taught and facilitated writing and performance workshops nationwide. Recognized as a Gold Medal Teacher by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for his work with young writers, he has mentored several writers who have gone on to become award winners as well. He has served as Poet-In-Residence at several schools, where he created poetry classes and curriculum for middle and high school aged students. Kluckman has served as a coach and facilitator for several youth focused poetry slam events, including VE=NT (Voices Emerging, New Thunder), a statewide middle school competition, and Poetry Out Loud.
At heart, he is an activist and youth advocate, with a fierce passion for empowering the youth to develop their writing and speaking skills. As an activist, he donates several hundred hours a year to volunteer work, especially with programs focused on youth advocacy, gender and race equity, and raising awareness around genocide. Kluckman is a founding organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program, now recognized as the largest poetry reading in history, bringing hundreds of organizers and poets around the world together to speak for social change and positive growth.
With multiple artistic interests, Kluckman has worked with bands and musicians on multiple occasions to create multi-media art projects, including Straight Flush, a spontaneous improvisational foray blending poets and musicians in live performance. He works with an amazing musician named Jason Maggioncalda on Zen Broken, a project blending spoken word and raw, progressive music inspired by bands ranging in style from Pink Floyd to heavier metal acts like Testament.
His interests and talents include acting as well. Kluckman has appeared in numerous television and film roles including Breaking Bad, Fanboys, In Plain Sight, The Lost Room, Year One, Revenge on the Highway, Beerfest, A Kinder Garden, Passion Play and Imagination Club. In middle school he wrote and performed in the play, The Abduction of Theoni Amandala, based on a true story of apartheid in Africa.
As an organizer, Kluckman has conceived and brought to fruition dozens of necessary and innovative programs, including a gang intervention and drug relapse prevention program for youth in transition. He is the founder of the world's only Slam Poet Laureate program, an event which allowed members of the community to select the first Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He created and curates the One Night Only series, offering a home to touring poets and musicians in various venues throughout the state. He is the founder and host of Speaking of Sex, a showcase of erotica poetry and burlesque that aims to educate and empower people to embrace sexuality and sexual identity in healthy ways and safe spaces. He is a former host of MAS Poetry, one of Albuquerque's most successful poetry events, and is currently the founder and Slam Manager of Slam of Enchantment, New Mexico's award winning new poetry slam community. Kluckman served as the 2009-2010 Festival Director for the Verse~Converse
Poetry Festival in Taos. He continues to showcase dozens of touring artists throughout the state.
Kluckman is the Spoken Word Editor for the Pedestal magazine and has served as a guest editor for Sotto Voce magazine, the Cartier Review, Artistica magazine, The Journal of Truth and Consequence and the Slam National newsletter among others. He has served as a poetry judge for Poetry Out Loud, The Austin International Poetry Festival and The National Federation of State Poetry Society's annual contest.
Kluckman has published numerous articles and book reviews in magazines and journals. His poems appear in print and digital publications worldwide, and have been anthologized widely. He is the author of three books including Per-City Poems (Dichotomy Dances Press, 2006), the Red Mountain Press National Poetry Prize winning Animals in Our Flesh (Red Mountain Press, 2013), and Some of It is Muscle (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014), a finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. Kluckman has edited two anthologies: the New Mexico Book Awards finalist, Earthships: A New Mecca Poetry Anthology (Horse & Tiger Press, 2007) and Trigger Warning: Poetry Saved My Life (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014).