Reach Out, Reach In, the debut chapbook from Leah Klass

Printed Matter Vancouver is proud to present the debut chapbook from Leah Klass. Recently relocated from Portland to Ann Arbor, Michigan, Leah is a poet, community activist, global connector, and World Peace Fellow. Hers is the first book of poetry Printed Matter Vancouver has published featuring a writer who lives outside of Southwest Washington.

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The debut collection of poetry by Leah Klass tells stories of discovering empathy through human connection. Her work is a rallying call to value our everyday interactions with other people. Reach Out, Reach In offers concrete ideas for transforming the world into a warmer, more welcoming place.

Reach Out, Reach In

By Leah Klass

Published by Printed Vancouver

October 25, 2021

Cover Art & Design by Mercer Hanau

Edited by Toni Lumbrazo Luna and Christopher Luna

ISBN-13‏: ‎ 979-8985129106


How we are made is how we see, and from the rich mosaic of her background Leah Klass delivers kaleidoscopic poems that will persuade your vision to see this world made strange and precious. This book offers local beginnings, global consciousness, and the courage to use language for what it needs to do: sustain the sovereign self engaged in connecting the private life to the public world. Enter this book troubled, then emerge knowing “there is another way.” — Kim Stafford, author of Singer Come from Afar

I read Reach Out, Reach In straight through and want more. Leah Klass tells to the bone truth in bold narratives and chewable language. She is a thoroughly American woman who gathered new languages and a layered identity living in many countries. “Understand I am global,” she writes, and we do, seeing through her “inherited pattern recognition” a unifying grasp of culture and language that threads through her own evolution from childhood to maturity. These brave poems move with a strong beat, riding on a wide and inclusive heart. They illuminate so much of a woman’s experience through the stages of her life. For Klass, a fierce advocacy for all people developed, rooted in connection and kindness, and in her passion for acts big and small in families and communities that count toward healing the world. — Rae Latham 


Born in Washington, D.C., Leah’s education has included attending diverse public schools and studying abroad. She learned Spanish in the homes of her friends in Falls Church, Virginia. In high school she turned 16 on a secular kibbutz, where she worked on the assembly line in an olive factory and was chased by ostriches. She later waitressed and cleaned houses to help pay for her studies in Anthropology at the University of Virginia which included a year of study abroad in Brazil. She completed a master’s degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland thanks to a Rotary Fellowship in Argentina and Australia. 

She spent the first years of her career bringing businesses from different countries together and encouraging friendships between strangers. Market research and report writing were a ticket to long weekends in Chile and high speed taxi rides in Mexico. She has also helped get social services to migrant communities, taught students how to better network and facilitated group discussions for international business people.

Leah’s greatest pleasures are making connections and reaching out to build community. Speaking many languages allows her to communicate with more people. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese and some Hebrew and German. She is committed to valuing intergenerational relationships and amplifying kindness. 

After becoming a mother, Leah experienced a great shift in her understanding of the world and felt an overwhelming desire to express her need to build community and to help others find and use their voices. In tandem, she joined a kind and passionate poetry community in Portland, Oregon. With the support of the group, poetry has become a way for her to tell stories and to activate others to go out and do something good.

Learn more at

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic Featuring Igor Brezhnev at Art at the Cave and on Zoom November 11, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Igor Brezhnev

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige



7 pm

Thursday, November 11

Art at the Cave

108 E Evergreen Blvd

Vancouver, WA 98660

$5 Suggested donation

NOTE: Art at the Cave co-founder Kathi Rick has graciously offered to help us to continue to include our new friends from around the country in the open mic. Email by no later than midnight on November 10 to indicate your interest in participating. In the subject line, let us know if you are “Reading” or “Just Listening.” You will receive instructions for how to join the meeting.

Zoom open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less. 

Donations can be made in person or through Christopher Luna’s PayPal account ( Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Masks must be worn at all times to participate in this event. Open Mic readers may remove their masks while reading. The microphone will be sanitized after each reader.

Statement on Healthy Spaces from Art at the Cave: We want to provide a healthy space to enjoy art. We are practicing safety precautions such as regular cleaning, social distancing and mask wearing. We kindly request that you wear a mask and practice social distancing while visiting the gallery. If needed, we will limit the number of people in the gallery. Masks and hand sanitizer are available upon entry.

Art At The CAVE was established in 2017. Located at 108 E. Evergreen in downtown Vancouver, the CAVE is free and open to the public Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm, and on First Fridays when it remains open until 8:00pm. The gallery is also available to host events. Visit the website at or contact for more information.

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, provided a home for the reading series from 2015-2020:

Igor Brezhnev is a poet and a book designer, among his other sins. His most recent body of published work is titled nights since. It is a series of 363 poems written every night from January 18th, 2019 to January 14th, 2020 documenting the emotional landscape of being without a home. Igor’s other work includes two full-length poetry books, dearest void (2016) and america is dry cookie and other love stories (2018) as well as a number of spoken-word albums available on Bandcamp at You can support his work at and get daily poems & weekly audio recordings. More information about Igor and his books can be found at

In Loving Memory of Olinka Broadfoot, Artist and Friend

Olinka Broadfoot’s sculpture portrait of Christopher Luna

I was saddened to learn that my friend Olinka Broadfoot has passed away. Olinka was a brilliant, witty, talented person with many stories to tell about her life as an artist and her home in the Czech Republic. I feel fortunate to have known her.

I first met Olinka through my friend Jason Mashak, one of the first Portland poets I met when I moved to the Pacific Northwest from Queens, NY in 2001. Olinka is a world-class artist who had returned from Prague, where she traveled once a year or so to teach sculpture. While much of the work she did was abstract, Olinka posted on Facebook that she was ready to do some portraits. I had never sat for a sculptor before and thought that it might be fun.

It was fun, and it was also an incredible experience that deepened my respect for Olinka and for all sculptors. I could not always watch her work, but when I could, I was blown away watching the clay transform into a bust of my head ans shoulders. I am a talker, a verbal processor who talks almost constantly. Olinka did chat with me a bit, but there were also times where she made it clear that she needed silence in order to concentrate.

I clearly remember the moment when she took a darker rectangle slab of clay and dropped it on top of the head of the bust to begin forming the hat I found in Berkeley, CA and had worn every day for years, almost until it fell apart. She requested that I leave the hat with her so that she could get it just right. She also asked for an old pair of my glasses which she attached to the face of the portrait.

I was not prepared for what an honor it was to be represented in this way. I remain in awe of how she was abler to capture not only my likeness but my spirit in this work. Later I was honored further when an anonymous donor purchased the work in order to gift it to me.

In April 2013 Toni and I curated a show at Angst Gallery called the Marriage of Poetic Words and Images. It featured art and poetry by many different members of the community including Greg Bee, Da Bat, Eileen Elliott, Jenney Pauer, Jim Martin, Erin Dengerink, Kelly Keigwin, and Michael Smith.

The show also featured two pieces by Olinka: her bust of me and “sometimes the latticework of the veil,” inspired in part by my poem of the same name:

sometimes the latticework of the veil
is so perfectly constructed
that it has the appearance of reality
flesh and blood, rather than
a sorry excuse for truth
pastiche of fortune cookie wisdom
ad copy & lines from old movies
stand in for the darkness
which is not evil after all
but the residue of a broken heart
throbbing, sweating
flooding blood-soaked tears
in a melodramatic gush
not to be contained by the
gauzy barrier of our skin

is revealed
after all

You can see more images from the show here.

In May 2013 the bust was moved next door to Niche Wine Bar, owned by Angst Gallery director Leah Jackson. Here are a couple of photos from the unveiling of the bust that took place at Niche.