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.

Order now: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09K1HRGF6/

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

ASIN: ‎ B09K1HRGF6
ISBN-13‏: ‎ 979-8985129106

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR REACH OUT, REACH IN

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 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 www.leahklass.com.

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

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,  

ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

7 pm

Thursday, November 11

Art at the Cave

108 E Evergreen Blvd

Vancouver, WA 98660

https://artatthecave.com

$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 katecrackernuts@comcast.net 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 (christopherjluna@gmail.com). 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 artatthecave.com or contact gallery@artatthecave.com for more information.

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

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 igorbrezhnev.bandcamp.com. You can support his work at patreon.com/igorbrezhnev and get daily poems & weekly audio recordings. More information about Igor and his books can be found at igorbrezhnev.com.

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

eventually
all
is revealed
we
are
hopelessly
(beautifully)
human
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.

Do Not Abandon Her, a Poem for the Girls in Afghanistan By Leah Klass

Do Not Abandon Her

By Leah Klass 

August 16th, 2021

Listen, love, it’s bright outside those plastic blinds

don’t waste your time in turning open aching palms

step straight up off cotton cushions into rainbowed reeds

I’m here just off the path, treading lightly as the signs said no, 

no worries, just a breeze, the scent of leaflings curling open, purr of sandhill cranes beyond

Simone had told me that the frogs croak while the trees sway in the wind

I’d thought to step outside, catch my breath, it was too loud inside the house

and then I saw you, in my dream, lounging, alight on silken robes

smoke rising from your silver pipe and she was there, dear Leah Lost

aside the crowd, kneeling and more, her begging eyes a sign of times to come

You lie in bed in Lakewood in a room I’ve seen just once, 

pine bed posts tall and covers white, the carpets now tell tales of puppies, kids

your forehead freckled, red and wet and wild hair spread cross the sheets

you tell me little and I understand your fear is real

In this day Kabul has fallen and I long to walk straight to the White House

from this quiet pondside all my army of mosquitoes chasing

crickets and cicadas sing and cheer as I walk through Black Lives Matter Plaza 

gaining speed past iron gates, flash something at the guards, my tits, my ass, my empathy and entering that old colonial symbol of hypocrisy: no place for the people but The Person, take myself right up the red real-carpet stairs and turning left (I always do)

march up to you, your thin skin like the surface of a pudding oh, evoking kindness 

as the image of my grandpa would

 

Wait: this is my training, I am loyal to belief and so I tell you what to do, I tell you 

here’s my name, YOUR NAME, and my solemn promise

here’s my address and civil state: I believe in goodness, kindness, safety, light and 

freedom from hunger and misogyny, abuse and ignorance 

but no time to explain Dear Joe

I know you’ve read the news 

it’s time to act straight from our heart, 

Gaia, Collective Earth, the Mother she is rising

I lie in bed and look out at the plastic window blinds

as I wake my hands are clenched, my jaw is tired

all I know is what I am, all I am is what I must

This day I will call the White House, ask to sponsor 

I have room in my heart for as many girls

as they can send. 


Act now: https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/

What Womens Advocacy Groups Worldwide Are Doing For Women In Afghanistan by Josie Fischels

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/16/1027929275/what-womens-advocacy-groups-worldwide-are-doing-for-women-in-afghanistan

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Andrea Hollander July 8, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Andrea Hollander

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm

Thursday, July 8

On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,

ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

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

Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011, after living for more than three decades in the Arkansas Ozarks, where she was innkeeper of a bed & breakfast for 15 years and the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College for 22. Hollander’s 5th full-length poetry collection was a finalist for the Best Book Award in Poetry from the American Book Fest; her 4th was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; her 1st won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays appear widely in anthologies, college textbooks, and literary journals, including a recent feature in The New York Times Magazine. Other honors include two Pushcart Prizes (in poetry and literary nonfiction), two fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the 2021 49th Parallel Award in Poetry. In 2017 she initiated the Ambassador Writing Seminars, which she conducts via Zoom. Her website is http://www.andreahollander.net.

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on July 8 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.

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

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Shawn Aveningo-Sanders June 10, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic
Featuring Shawn Aveningo-Sanders

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm
Thursday, June
On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,
ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

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

Shawn Aveningo-Sanders grew up in Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon. Her recent chapbook, What She Was Wearing, tells her #metoo story that took 30 years to reveal. Shawn’s work has appeared worldwide in over 150 literary journals and anthologies, including Calyx, Amsterdam Quarterly, American Journal of Poetry, Timberline Review and Poets Reading the News. She is a Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net nominee, and co-founder of The Poetry Box press, as well as managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon. Shawn is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband, Robert.

What She Was Wearing is available from The Poetry Box:
https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/what-she-was-wearing

Ghost Town Poetry fans can save 25% on Shawn’s book by using this special coupon code:
GHOST-TOWN-WSWW-25

More information about Shawn’s poetry:
http://redshoepoet.com

More info about The Poetry Box (publishing/books/readings, etc.):
https://thepoetrybox.com

More info about our annual journal, The Poeming Pigeon:
https://thepoetrybox.com/the-poeming-pigeon

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on June 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.

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

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Eileen Davis Elliott April 8, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Featuring Eileen Davis Elliott

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

7 pm

Thursday, April 8

On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,

ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, has provided a home for the reading series since 2015: https://nichewinebar.com

Eileen Davis Elliott

Eileen Davis Elliott is a poet and visual artist from Vancouver, WA where she retired from a career in mental health. She has just released Pobrecitos, a collaborative work written by Eileen Davis Elliott and illustrated by Lily Engblom-Stryker and Ava Town, students from Vancouver School of Arts and Academics who shared and expanded the messages of the written work focusing on the marginalized from all over the world. Travelogue, poetry, documentation of the world we live in and the people we do not always notice. Pobrecitos (Spanish for “the poor ones”) is a love story to all we meet on our path. This is Elliott’s third book, available through Amazon, Bookbaby store, and her website, Eileendaviselliott.com. Earlier books include Prodigal Cowgirl, and Miles of Pies, part family narrative and part history of a way of Midwestern life. Both of these books are available through the author’s website.

She is working on two novels and another collection of poems, as well as an invitational anthology tentatively titled Unfinished Business. Elliott has also recently completed a series of “transformative collages,” wherein she uses earlier “failed” artwork to “paint through to resolution” self- questions which came up during the time of enforced isolation. She keeps a close eye on the hummingbird feeders as well.

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on April 8 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. Open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less. 

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.

The Work Poetry Workshop Continues on Zoom Spring/Summer 2021

Collage by Christopher Luna

Join us on the second and fourth Monday of every month for The Work.

MONDAY NIGHT EDITION

The Monday Night Edition of The Work takes place from 6-8:30 pm on the second and fourth Monday of each month, unless otherwise noted. These workshops will take place on Zoom until it is safe to do so again in person.


Upcoming Monday night workshops will take place on April 12 & 26, May 10 & 24, June 14 & 28, July 12, August 9 & 23. There will be no workshop on July 26.

The Work is a drop-in poetry writing workshop for beginners as well as more experienced writers. Poetry encourages empathy and compassion, and sparks the shifts in consciousness which can lead to healing, personal growth, and an interest in fighting for progressive social change.

We will read and discuss poetry, write several new poems, and give each writer feedback on at least one of the drafts composed during the workshop.

The cost for the workshop is a suggested donation of $20 to Christopher Luna’s PayPal account: christopherjluna@gmail.com“

Suggested” means that we would like for you to join us regardless of whether or not you can afford it right now. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Bring a poem to share as a way of saying hello.

Please email Christopher Luna at christopherjluna@gmail.com by midnight the night before each workshop to RSVP if you would like to participate. Also, please share this event with others who might be interested.

Collage by Christopher Luna

SATURDAY NIGHT EDITION

The Work also takes place from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm on the second Saturday of every month, unless otherwise noted. Upcoming Saturday afternoon workshops will take place on April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, and August 14.

These workshops will take place on Zoom until it is safe to do so again in person.


Christopher Luna encourages you to support Niche Wine Bar, which has provided a home for his poetry and memoir workshops, Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic, and other events for many years. Niche is currently open for both dine-in and takeout service: https://nichewinebar.com

If you are looking for writing coaching, editing/manuscript review, or information about poetry and memoir classes, send Christopher an email via printedmattervancouver@gmail.com.

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic on Zoom Featuring Michael Dylan Welch February 11, 2021

Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic

Hosted by Christopher Luna and Morgan Paige

Featuring Michael Dylan Welch

7 pm

Thursday, February 11

On Zoom

$5 Suggested donation

LGBTQ+ FRIENDLY, PRO-SCIENCE, ANTI-FASCIST,

ALL AGES, AND UNCENSORED SINCE 2004

Please support Niche Wine Bar, whose owner, Leah Jackson, has provided a home for the reading series since 2015: https://nichewinebar.com

Michael Dylan Welch served two years as poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, where he is also president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword, director of the Poets in the Park Festival, and curator (since 2006) of SoulFood Poetry Night. He has published dozens of books, most recently Dance into the World, and his poetry has appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies in more than 20 languages. Michael was keynote speaker for the 2013 Haiku International Association conference in Tokyo, is cofounder of the biennial Haiku North America conference (1991), the American Haiku Archives (1996), and the Seabeck Haiku Getaway (2008). He also founded the Tanka Society of America (2000) and National Haiku Writing Month (2010), the latter held every February, the shortest month for the shortest genre of poetry (learn more at http://www.nahaiwrimo.com). His personal website, devoted mostly to poetry (not just haiku), including hundreds of essays and reviews, is www.graceguts.com. Lately, Michael has been traveling the world, via Zoom, giving poetry readings, workshops, and presentations in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, India, England, Canada, and around the United States—a silver lining amid our pandemic lockdown.

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond everyone’s control, this month’s reading will take place over Zoom. Email christopherjluna@gmail.com by no later than 3 pm on February 11 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. Open mic readers are invited to share one poem for three minutes or less. 

If you are willing to donate to support the series, please use Christopher Luna’s PayPal account (christopherjluna@gmail.com) or contact him to make other arrangements. Include a memo stating that the money is for Ghost Town Poetry. The suggested donation is five dollars.