Kitchen Sink (magazine)

Kitchen Sink (magazine)

"Kitchen Sink", published in Oakland, California, was a nonprofit, quarterly print magazine and monthly web publication that explored thought, art, culture, identity and politics.

Founded by a community of writers, artists and editors in 2002, "Kitchen Sink" was dedicated to embracing and exploring the contradictions found in all parts of our lives, working to challenge assumptions about the world, and expand a sense of self, our communities, culture and politics. The magazine provided an original take on music, art and film - presenting essays rather than reviews. It also covered topics such as the sustenance found in food, sex and god.

Initially, "Kitchen Sink" was a magazine made amongst a group of friends (Jen Loy, Jeff Johnson, Nicole Neditch, Kaya Oakes, Sierra Filluci, Stephanie Groll, Antonia Blue, Elka Karl, Mosi Reeves), an idea that first came to light in the Fall of 2001. To this day, it is still a growing community of artists, thinkers and editors who hope to confront and explore the world in which we all live, aiming to carefully examine thought and knowledge, and encourage its readers to do the same.

It was the premiere program of the "Neighbor Lady Community Arts Project", an Oakland-based arts organization. NLCAP later presented Telegraph Stories, a quarterly Bay Area storytelling series hosted by "Kitchen Sink" senior editor Kaya Oakes, from whose book of poetry, "Telegraph", the series got its name. "Kitchen Sink" was known as "the magazine for people who think too much." It eschewed photography (with the exception of artist portfolios) for original illustrations, and featured covers by Colleen Coover, Chuck Sperry, Manny Silva, Chris Duncan, Laurenn McCubbin, Camille Rose Garcia, and many others. From approximately halfway through the magazine's run, KS began to offer original pieces of art to its subscribers; these art inserts included a calendar concealed in a matchbook, many posters, and, in the final issue, a make-your-own-wallpaper project.

Antonia Blue was the publisher of "Kitchen Sink" Magazine for issues 1-11. Carla Costa and Jen Loy (the latter also its founding Editor-in-Chief) assumed a shared role as co-publishers from this point on. Laurenn McCubbin was Creative Director for issues 1-12; Nicole Neditch took over thereafter. Stefanie Kalem was Kitchen Sink's Editor-in-Chief from issue 14 through 16.

On December 29, 2006, the staff of "Kitchen Sink" Magazine announced via e-mail and blog entry that, for a number of reasons, issue 16 would be their last. The closure of the IPA (Independent Press Association), dwindling subscription numbers, and a noticeable drop in revenue (advertisement sales) during its final year, were said to be the chief causes for their decision to end the publication's run.

Kitchen Sink Magazine Sections

Louder Than Words

The mission of this section was to contribute a thoughtful discourse about music that focused on its inherent worth, its potential for personally-assigned value. We listen to music as we engage the world, and we resist the commodification of what interests us, even as many of us are hooked on collecting and accumulating albums. In LTW, we talked about music, not CDs; we wrote about bands, and the ways we heard them.Editor: Jeff Johnson

Reverse Angle

This section strove to encompass a wide scope of filmic and digital entertainment - from movies to television to animated shorts - via well-written features, intriguing news briefs, sharp commentaries, humorous jabs, and interviews with both up-and-coming and established key figures. There was even-handed coverage of mainstream and independent films; classic, cult and current movies; recent video releases and television shows.Editor: Sam Hurwitt (originally Monique Montibon)


The Kitchen Sink art section provided exposure to and discussion of the visual arts through essays, articles, stories, and interviews about and written by local and national artists. Additionally, it investigated the art world from a variety of perspectives and translate the visual experience of art through the occasional personal essay. Editor: Jen Loy (originally Antonia Blue; then, in order, Katy Ansite and Tara Goe)

Paper City

The focus was not on the book business, or on trendy books that everyone's reading on the train. Rather, this section turned its lens on writing: practitioners, craft, habits, origins. "Kitchen Sink" interviews did not focus on the selling features of a text, but rather on the author's process. Investigating how ideas are born and brought into fruition, the influences authors have on one another, the way that other media (music, film, television, fine arts), politics and the mores of society feed into what people write. Rather than running reviews, "Kitchen Sink" re-examined classic literature from a contemporary perspective, in order to understand and explain why forgotten books are still relevant. This part of the magazine also focused on authors in translation, writers who are still relatively obscure, and question what makes a book "good" or even "readable". Examining how writing is taught, from elementary school through graduate programs, in order to understand how the seeds that usher new writers into the world begin to bear fruit.Editor: Elka Karl (originally Kaya Oakes, who later served as KS' Poetry editor)


The "KS" politics and culture section delivered well-researched features on local and global matters. With a desire to investigate and expose malfeasance, wherever it happens; to hold power accountable to the people in this democracy; to hold the leaders accountable to their theoretical bosses.Editor: Jeff Johnson (originally Stephanie Groll; then, in turn, Rachel Swan and Elka Karl)

ex, Food and God

SFG explored the personal acts and material goods that sustain and enrich our lives. With humor, intelligence and rabid curiosity, Kitchen Sink examined sex, food, spirituality, travel and material goods with the intention of informing, entertaining and motivating the reader.Editor: Stefanie Kalem (originally Sierra Filucci)

Awards & Other Publications

Since the first public issue debuted in October 2002, "Kitchen Sink" gained a reputation for both literary excellence and reader loyalty. "KS" was the multiple recipient of Best of the Bay awards from all three Bay Area newsweeklies and of the prestigious Utne Independent Press Award for Best New Title. "Kitchen Sink" continues to be nominated for Best-of awards, both locally and nationally.

Additionally, "KS" was the proud founder of the "Indie Mag All Stars", a group of local (Bay Area) publications that host literary readings, along with partners ranging from Watchword Press, The Believer magazine and McSweeney's.


For issue 14, "Kitchen Sink" joined forces with Image Comics to produce a larger-than-usual issue, featuring an 18-page Amazing Joy Buzzards mini-comic by Mark Smith and Dave Crosland.

The Neighbor Lady Community Arts Project

NLCAP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public benefit corporation dedicated to the promotion of the literary, visual and performance arts communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. NLCAP rely on contributions from interested parties to keep publishing and promoting artists.

Kitchen Sink Target Demographics

The KS readership
*is 25 to 40 years old
*is 50% women, 50% men
*makes a median annual income of $40K
*has college degrees
*dwells mostly in urban environments, though most of its grad school readers live in college towns
*describes itself as smart, busy, unpretentious, anxious, obsessive, independent, inquisitive, funny and creative.

External links

* []

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