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is dedicated to showcasing the work of new artists of all mediums and to discussing trends and ideas within art communities

knack’s ultimate aim is to connect and inspire emerging artists

we strive to create a place for artists, writers, designers, thinkers, & innovators to collaborate and produce a unique, informative, and unprecedented web-based magazine each month

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knack magazine

andrea vaca co-founder, director, photo editor, marketing will smith co-founder, digital operations ariana lombardi co-founder, executive editor jonathon duarte co-founder, design director miljen aljinovic editor fernando gaverd designer, digital operations, marketing jake goodman designer, photographer chelsey alden editor

cover jonathon duarte first and last spreads a.c. vaca p. 8 anonymous

knackmagazine1 at gmail.com

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featured artists 4 emily brouwer 10 secote 16 austin eichelberger 24 submission guidelines 36

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emily brouwer

secote

Emily Tehrase Brouwer is 28 and has been writing poetry and stories since she was a young child growing up in the lower and central North Island of New Zealand. She completed an MA in English Literature at Victoria University of Wellington in 2013, and since then she has been traveling and living in North America. Emily is currently based in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, where she is working on a novel and a poetry collection.

Mixed media artist from Maine. Studied at the former College of Santa Fe, graduated with a BA Social Change Through Artistic Exposure.

emily.tehrase@gmail.com

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austin eichelberger

Austin Eichelberger is a native Virginian who completed his MA in 2009 and now teaches as much English and Writing as he can manage in sunny, sprawling New Mexico—but he plans to travel around the world just about as soon as his little legs can get him going. His creative work has been published by or is forthcoming from over fifty journals and anthologies including Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Extract(s), Gone Lawn, First Stop Fiction, and others. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Tiny Text, a Twitter journal for fiction and memoir (@Tiny_Text).

austineichelberger.wordpress.com.

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k:34

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knack an acquired or natural skill at performing a task an adroit way of doing something a clever trick or stratagem

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Interacting with humanity, you quickly get the impression that this planet, and all the events that are occurring on it, are the most important thing. And to us, they are. But we now live in a time when we’ve begun to gain an outside perspective on our little world, and we start to see how small we truly are. Even the most drastic global effects of humanity won’t alter our planet’s orbit around the sun. Our actual impact, on even just our own planet, is nil. We have sculpted the surface to meet our needs, our creations are [inadvertently] changing our atmosphere and the planet’s weather systems, but Earth itself remains unaffected. We have no effect on continental drift, or the machinations of the core and mantle. We’ve briefly visited our natural satellite, but other than some flags and science equipment, it is completely untouched by us. We’ve sent several robots on trajectories outside our solar system, but they are naught but dust in an empty cathedral. We are absolutely nothing, and yet, still we are everything. We seek to make some semblance of order from the chaos. We aim to defeat our own mortality, to leave proof of our existence after we have gone. We are self-aware, when we choose to be. We are just reaching adolescence; as our perspective of the outside universe increases, so does our maturity. But many of our childish tendencies remain. Our survival is far from certain, but we finally are approaching the point where we have the means to ensure it, should we choose to do so. The decision, and our future, is entirely up to us. We may wipe ourselves out, or allow ourselves to be wiped out. Or, we may persevere, and one day we may cross the void between stars with the same ease that we cross Earth’s oceans today. But the universe will not wait for us. It never has.

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emily brouwer

creative writing

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Poetry as Active Collaboration Having studied literature for five years in New Zealand, one of the most useful concepts that I took from my studies, in regard to my own writing, came from New Zeland’s inaugural poet laureate, Bill Manhire. He thought of his role as a poet to be also a collector of language, a bricoleur, somebody who, rather than having some high message of wisdom to deliver, uses whatever language is at hand to create something and present it back to the world, like evidence of itself. This is something that really struck me and stuck with me, and of course I tend to agree with the philosophy. Language is always working hard to have some meaning, and people are always working hard to retain that meaning, or to change it, or pull it to pieces and examine its mechanics, to dissect its guts. Where poetry is concerned, I figure the poet’s job is to give language form, but when language is working hard, we don’t need to instil meaning because meaning already exists in the language, and in the minds of the readers. This is not to say that these poems lack meaning or that they aren’t about anything – on the contrary in fact – but the task for me was to allow the language to build the meaning, or story, around itself. There is something unpretentious about this idea that I really liked; the poet doesn’t have to be somebody who has some significant insight (though they can be), they don’t need to have this neat message to package up in a poem so that the reader can learn something from their wisdom (though they could). They are simply showing their reader what is already there. Maybe you learn something, maybe you just enjoy what the words are doing, maybe you just think, oh, that’s what that sounds like, or that’s what that means. This small collection came about as the result of an experiment. I wanted to collaborate with this concept that language works for us and that the job of the poet may be simply to assemble words. I asked my friends to provide me with poem tasks, or prompts, and a sample of words. Some gave me more specific tasks, some less specific. From what I wrote I have chosen four to share here. I have included the original tasks for those interested in the process, and to acknowledge the collaboration. Without these tasks, these poems as they are couldn’t exist.

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Rebecca Petersen: 2 verses, 5 lines. Each line must contain a word with double letters, e.g. pool, or egg. TH E WOM A N AT TH E EDGE OF TH E WOR LD Her cottage was on the edge of the woods, where crooked trees fell, the structures that tectonics gradually wiggled away, like loose sweet teeth and the site levelled down to dull clay. She was keeping books on a soot-stained mantle, she was keeping bees in bottles on the bull-paddock fence, and they left their buzzing in the places they had been, where walls of honeycomb cells were the backdrop for shadow puppets who were stiff at the knees, who were swallowing needles and sleeping in haystacks, their narratives all Pyrrhic victories. That’s why, between the moonlight puppetry and her horse with the wooden hoof, she knew that destruction was mutually assured, and she pulled her universe inward the way the moon pulls massive bodies of water into a swell, the process ripping them apart.

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Christine Magee: 5 verses of 6 lines each, and every verse must have the name of a plant in it (even if it is a homonym for something else). A name of a plant in the title. S WA M P A S H E S I watched you navigate the swamp with a backdrop of Spanish moss, your boat was a walnut shell, and your anchor only driftwood. You weren’t fishing. The water was noxious and contaminated with bodies, and besides who fishes in swamps anyway. My platform was built on swamp-oak stilts, a tree-house made of Perspex and living trunks, their roots still connected beneath the liquefaction and sand, and dirt and grit, and they continued to grow taller inch by inch elevating me skyward, all to stop the rising water of the swamp from collecting my indoor pot-plants. The alligators moved around you, while you dropped white and pink marshmallows from your powdery palms into their wide and toothy mouths. Your offerings made you welcome, your walnut boat made no imposition on their water universes, and your branch paddles were just like disconnected roots, floating in the marshes. I watched as you washed in with the tide, leaving your wooden anchor and paddles behind, and tied your walnut shell to the trunk of my house. The water was waist-deep as you waded over to my ladder. It was made of clouds, but so were you by then, When you entered my stilted cabin your cloud-skin was damp with wet air and your hair was laced with swamp ashes. We stood in my plum pit garden, drinking milk thistle tea. It washed your wine gums clean and meanwhile your abject language echoed as though there remained some tangible distance between the trees.

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Elizabeth Chivers: 5 verses of 4 lines. Corrugated iron, deer, oedipus, mangled, majestic, escape. S Y N C O PAT E D T R I P L I C AT I O N We talked for three days, through corrugated iron telephones. Three days, and meanwhile I could watch the disintegration of the leaves outside, because it was turning to winter, and because there was nothing else to look at. Three days of your voice and static white noise, it became a hallucinogenic escape from the white walls that I faced with only a small window to view the deteriorating leaves, the wooden sill covered in insect corpses, turning to dust, the same dust that covers moth wings, the same dust that is on the tips of my fingers, that returns to the surface of my skin and then back to dust again. After three days, your mangled language found that end-point, that final surface echo. On the first day, your urgency was thick like an oedipal swell I could feel it in my belly, I could see it on my own outward breath. The second day you told me that the things you needed to say were fractal, endlessly repeating into magnified circles. On the third day you said everything again, but with different words. I burned down matches by holding them against miniature deer antlers, listening. The branches had parted outside, by their leaves disintegration, into a wide and majestic hollow.

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Stormy Pyeatte: 3 verses of 4 lines. Tempest, far, stomach, laces A LETTER FROM THE SKY TO THE EARTH I apologise for disturbing the surface of your astronomical body with the tumult of my atmosphere. Before the lightening cracked, finally, and the fine laces that held us apart unravelled, before that delicate environmental barrier tumbled down, by the combination of our opposing forces, finally, and the air between us retched like a punctured stomach, and I tore open above you: this formidable tempest before that, your surface was so systemised. But it’s only geography, sweetheart. I will change your history, and after I pass, you will absorb my damage into your surface as heavy and vast as an ocean, as unknowable as far planets.

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secote

photography

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Art for therapy, for fun, for trance.

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the red series

above ALIVE AND NOT right ALL OF THE BEST OF MY DAY AND VERY MANY OF THE WORST, THE WORST IS STILL TO COME below ALMOST

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above TRIANGLES left THE FINAL MASK WE WEAR below TAKING MY FEAR WITH ME

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right I MISS WHEN IT WAS A BLUE DAY

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left RITUAL HANGING

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clockwise from top MAKING A TRUE RED REMINDING ME OF GENERALLY INTERCHANGEABLE

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austin eichelberger

creative writing

portrait by ysidro barela

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Loss is a defining aspect of all people’s lives, which is one reason why I’m drawn to its many forms in my writing. Even though loss is defined as an absence of something and a sort of isolation, since everyone experiences loss in some way or another, the shared experience of loss also unites all people and can be a very positive catalyst. This complex struggle fascinates me and challenges me as a reader and as a writer. It drives me to experiment with writing in hopes of capturing the elaborate and knotted emotions that are involved with it. I primarily break narratives into pieces and use concision to isolate emotions and reactions, and then build narratives from these pieces or sculpt the tiniest parts I can into stories. I purposefully leave the reader wanting just a little more or feeling like they have to put together the pieces before them to reach some kind of closure—though it might not come the way the reader expects—much like dealing with loss itself.

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T hings I Remember But Can’t Prove The only dreams I remember deal with the memories I haven’t told anyone: the tunnel-visioned shame of getting a quick slap from my dad the day I told him I kissed a boy on the cheek in kindergarten; when I was nine and spent an entire week awake, scratching the infected bite on my foot from the lizard my sister put in my sheets; bright-hot pain through my left eye when my older brother punched me for walking in on him and his girlfriend; the woozy stink of chemicals during the hours I spent in the school photo lab trying to correctly mat the family portrait Mom didn’t even thank me for; the Christmases when I was twelve and thirteen, when Dad didn’t come from work ‘til New Year’s—already drunk and fuming; the whitish-blue color of Mom’s face when I told her I was dating a black girl and the whine of her shoe’s heel on the linoleum f loor as she locked herself in the laundry closet; my bedroom window’s heavy squeal as it slid shut the night of my high school graduation, the black-red blood-blister it pinched on the center of my palm after I emptied my dad’s wallet, then climbed down the lattice and sprinted the whole way to the bus station.

... the hours I spent in the school photo lab trying to correctly mat the family portrait Mom didn’t even thank me for...

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Token An air of mischievous glee always accompanies me to parties and gatherings— especially those held in lavish whitewashed households, with pedicured lawns, oh, and a circular brick driveway, perhaps a fountain resting in the center—when I get to experience a new place for the very first time. I wait until the sturdy red door has been answered by a gracious woman in a teal dress—her hair styled like Veronica Lake or perhaps Linda Darnell—and I have entered the house, but from there I begin to plan out the rest of their abode—down to the very color of the trim—before I have seen even another doorway. Led by my hostess on the “official tour,” I walk through the rooms just before we arrive in them and try to see which statues she wrongly arranged, which walls seem to have been erected in an incorrect place, which pictures do not suit the colors in my head. The dining room is always simple and just right, though they should have chosen lilies rather than roses and used a burgundy rug; the kitchen immaculate, silver all polished and gleaming—but a permanent island counter would be more appropriate than a wheeled bar; the living room such a gauche, crowded display of bright color and mahogany that it’s hardly worth mentioning the list of corrections; and the master bedroom would do well with finer drapes and a different—perhaps hand carved?—headboard. A certain delight finds its way into my fingers as we pass from room to room and I begin to lightly touch the trinkets I like, labeling them mine—by the rule of finders-keepers—even if I allow the objects to stay with their now-former owners. When I finally see an article I truly desire—they are always small and shiny, like a polished elephant of jade or a gilded sand dollar on a grey marble nightstand—I ask my hostess as politely as I know if I may pick it up, feel it, inspect it. She always agrees, beaming, and then continues to tell me a story about where she found such

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an artifact—at a quaint beach shop in Peru—or how difficult it is for such things to be made. She will then turn, one hand gesturing around the room as she laughs, not unlike the tinkling of glass, and steps into the next room to continue our tour. The only problem with such actions is that I—every time, it seems—forget to place the object back where I found it—unless, of course, they mention the item, in which case I gasp at the forgetfulness that seizes me when I am amongst such sumptuous surroundings and pointedly situate the article just as it was. If they do not happen to notice, I will only realize the treasure is still in my hand after we have descended the grand staircase again—which curves too widely into the foyer and could be carpeted with something a bit softer—or as I stand before the shallow black marble sink in the bathroom just at the top of the stairs— which calls for a different shade of mauve in the f loor tile and someone to please polish the mirror’s gold frame. As soon as my mistake is realized, of course, I slip the quartz prism or silver snuff box into my pant pocket for safekeeping, until I can work up the courage to again brave the lilac walls of the guest bedroom or the game room’s chartreuse curtains and promptly replace the relic. I will then rejoin my hosts in the parlor—swaying dully to music or sipping vermouth and gin from crystal glasses—to converse and mingle with the other guests, possibly try a taste of the brie—which was aged perhaps a week too long—or a sip of the cabernet— which was uncorked a season early—and fraternize generally with the other attendants of the party – who are, despite their best efforts, quite charming indeed. Just before the front door is again opened and closed for me, I will turn in the foyer to picture the house and imagine my things—both those that are theirs, the souvenirs and artifacts of these glamorous travelers, and those that are mine, the everyday belongings which sit plainly on the other side of town in a two-room apartment situated above a butcher’s shop—filling tall rooms, brightening wide walls, clearing the hardwood f loors.

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I always leave the congregation of polite sophisticates smiling, the edges of my vision crisp, at having found a new place for my mind’s restless legs to roam; and at the weight in my pocket—perhaps a silver skeleton key or a tiny owl statuette—to arrange on a simple wooden shelf when I arrive home.

... I begin to lightly touch the trinkets I like, labeling them mine—by the rule of finders-keepers—even if I allow the objects to stay with their now-former owners.

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On Gr ief While planning her mother’s funeral—just weeks after Jeffery packed all his clothes while she greeted customers at the gas station, and one year to the day after her father fell rigid and shaking to the f loor in the middle of giving a sermon— Teresa’s dark brown hair began falling out. “Alopecia,” her doctor said. “Not uncommon for people under a lot of stress.” “When will it grow back?” she whispered, thinking of the alarmingly large clumps of hair that had started appearing in the shower drain, tangled in her comb, and repeated herself louder when she got no response. “There’s really no way to tell. It could clear up in a few weeks, or it might never grow back. Just try to eliminate stressors in your life and see what happens.” That very same night, while cleaning the attic of her childhood home under the light of a single bare bulb, Teresa found dozens of shirt boxes filled with the colorful silk scarves her mother used to wear pinned against her Sunday collar. Traces of familiar perfumes lingered in the bold patterns, and when a soft sash slipped from her fingers as she wrapped it around her head, the remaining scent cleared the dust from Teresa’s nostrils and transported her to her childhood home: she could see her mother putting on lipstick in the master bathroom mirror— Teresa’s eyes level with her mother’s waist—could feel the cool, smooth edge of the sink on her small palms as she looked up, her mother’s lips about to give in to a smile as she glanced down at Teresa in the glass. Now, whenever Teresa catches the slightest hint of that perfume, she will stop whatever she is doing despite herself—walking up Main to the post office entrance, or pushing her grocery cart as a cold gust comes from the Employee Only doors, or chatting to Susan at work—and pull the delicate fabric over her face, close her eyes and inhale, the air as gentle and soothing against her scalp as the steady, loving gaze of her mother.

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Stand Your Ground I creep down my apartment's dark hallway, beckoned toward the living room – beside the front door standing ajar, lock hanging loose—to investigate soft, persistent noises. I use both hands to grip the handle of the revolver I bought after Jeffery left for college—my fingers are numb and I can feel the heavy thing trembling in time with my arms. ‘I need a fucking dog,’ I think. I peek into the doorway, at the shadowed back of the figure crouched by the DVD cabinet; I step into the room—he rises as he turns. My finger contracts, the chamber releases—his head cracks backward before he drops, crumples on the rug. I turn on the light, head swimming—he looks young, Jeffery’s age, a child playing a game, blood like drops of melted ice cream coming from his open mouth.

... he looks young, Jeffery’s age, a child playing a game...

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Nightcap (I. S.O.: Dave Eggers’ “ She Wa its, Seething, Blooming”) He is sitting at the wooden kitchen table, the white layers of remaining coconut cake resting just in front of him; his name and the numbers of “Happy 40 th ” already eaten by guests, now gone. After work, his husband John phoned, telling him he was sorry, but he’d be home in an hour, at 7:30. It is now 12:13 and the driveway is empty except for a blue Nissan, which he imagines getting into to track John down, still wearing his bow tie and vest; he will storm through the streets like a riot, his cries leading him through tangled avenues and dimly lit alleyways. He thinks of John’s face when he pulls up to the restaurant where John sits with his lover, their legs rubbing together, laughing and winking; he imagines throwing his patent leather shoes from the car—the ecstatic thump on the thick glass, the pause in their conversation—before fuming inside, showing everyone what kind of man his husband is and how badly John has treated him after so many years! A wicked dryness rises in his throat as he moves from the table to the cabinets, searching for the leftover vodka and a tall glass; he knows, however—and realizes as he is on tip-toes, fingertips grazing the bottle—that there is no other man, that John often has to stay late for work, though usually not this late. He fills the clear water glass to the top with vodka and stands over the sink, taking slow sips. This is still inexcusable, he thinks, to do this tonight, of all nights, and of that—no matter the excuse—John must be made aware; he looks through the small window over the sink to the house next door, now dark—they came to the party, saw John not here. The half-empty cup meets the countertop with a thud as he turns back to the clock; 12:26. His pink tongue slides across his dry lips and he closes his eyes, focusing the pressure building in his chest, shaking through his arms and fingers. What will he say when John walks in the door? Should he even let John speak? Perhaps

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he should sit there, silent, until John’s rambling excuses are done, before letting go of the supernova burning in his lungs; but what will he say then? He can’t possibly concentrate on only the follies of this night; there are so many other things this could lead to, so many other places this one night could take them!; like just last year when he waited for hours at the airport; the time John said he should start going to the gym, no matter his honesty; the hotel bumping their reservations on their last vacation.… A buzzing begins in his ears and he grins, thinking of when he was a teen and would turn Metallica and Def Leppard up loud enough so that he could scream without his parents hearing; that overload of noise would shut out the rest of the world, and he had never found anything else quite like it. He turns back to the sink as the low rumble of John’s engine slides up next to the house, the low headlights bleaching the pines in the backyard. This will be delicious, he thinks, swallowing; it feels absolutely like my birthday, my surprise party about to begin. This will be loud, volatile. We will scream and scream until I explode. He sets the empty glass in the porcelain sink and turns, resting his back against the

12:32

counter, arms folded in front; the clock says 12:32; this will be delicious.

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photographers, graphic designers, & studio artists Up to 10 high resolution images of your work. All must include pertinent caption information (name, date, medium, year). If there are specifications or preferences concerning the way in which an image is displayed please include them.

submission guidelines

writers

images

KNACK seeks writing of all kinds. We will even consider recipes, reviews, and essays (although we do not prefer anything that is academic). We seek writers whose work has a distinct voice, is character driven, and is subversive but tasteful. We are not interested in fantasy or genre fiction. You may submit up to 25,000 words and as little as one. We accept simultaneous submissions. No cover letter necessary. All submissions must be 12pt, Times New Roman, double-spaced with page numbers and include your name, e-mail, phone number, and genre.

PDF TIFF JPEG

all submissions KNACK encourages all submitters to include an artist statement with their submission. We believe that your perspective of your work and process is as lucrative as the work itself. This may range from your upbringing and/or education as an artist, what type of work you produce, inspirations, etc. If there are specifications or preferences concerning the way in which an image is displayed please include them. A brief biography including your name, age, current location, and portrait of the artist is also encouraged (no more than 700 words).

written work .doc .docx RTF please include title files for submission with the name of the piece this applies for both writing and visual submissions

knackmagazine1@ gmail.com

subject: Submission (Photography, Studio Art, Creative Writing, Graphic Design)

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missed a submission deadline?

do not fear!

KNACK operates on a rolling submission system. This means that we will consider work from any artist at any time. Our “deadlines� merely serve as a cutoff for each issue of the magazine. Any and all work sent to knackmagazine1@gmail.com will be considered for submission as long as it follows submission guidelines. The day work is sent merely reflects the issue it will be considered for. Have questions or suggestions? E-mail us. We want to hear your thoughts, comments, and concerns. Sincerely, Ariana Lombardi, Executive Editor

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knack needs your help

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KNACK is requesting material to be reviewed. Reviews extend to any culture-related event that may be happening in the community in which you live. Do you know of an exciting show or exhibition opening? Is there an art collective in your city that deserves some press? Are you a musician, have a band, or are a filmmaker? Send us your CD, movie, or titles of upcoming releases which you’d like to see reviewed in KNACK. We believe that reviews are essential to creating a dialogue about the arts. If something thrills you, we want to know about it and share it with the KNACK community—no matter if you live in the New York or Los Angeles, Montreal or Mexico.

All review material can be sent to knackmagazine1@gmail.com. Please send a copy of CDs and films to 4319 North Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL 60613. If you would like review material returned to you include return postage and packaging. Entries should contain pertinent details such as name, year, release date, websites and links (if applicable). For community events we ask that information be sent up to two months in advance to allow proper time for assignment and review.

We look forward to seeing and hearing your work.

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KNACK Issue #34  

KNACK Magazine is dedicated to showcasing the work of new artists of all mediums, and to discuss trends and ideas of art communities. KNACK'...

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