Reviewed by Jordyn Taylor, Susquehanna University, Class of 2021
Equinox is an annual journal of contemporary literature and art with a forty-six-year-old history at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. They accept creative literary and artistic works of any style, nationwide.
The 2018 cover of Equinox features cool tone pastels that bleed into a white sea at the bottom of the page. This is much like an equinox, the instant of time when the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun, the darkness fading into the light. The cover is both warm and cool, the features of the woman set calmly, her hair unfazed by any wind, the blue and purples of her shirt and dress blending in with the other elements of the cover. The bold font catches the eye especially the ‘Q,’ which contains both the sun and the moon. This logo art appears at the end of each piece.
From the letter from the editor to the prose and poetry exhibited in the issue, Equinox provides lyrical language that will enthrall you in stories of pound cake, time machines, indexes, and movements. This magazine will keep you guessing, and you won’t be disappointed with the result.
“Again” by Allison Ousnamer begins with a thought: "I wonder if you know the time machine kills you." Metaphorical or literal, this opening line grabs your attention, making you wonder if it’s real, and, if it is, what you would do if you knew. Would you still build the time machine? Do you know that it kills you? Will you try to stop it? What if it’s inevitable? We follow the narrator through alternate timelines and questions, almost like jumping back and forth in that very time machine Allison mentions. From cut hands on broken coffee mugs to emergency room visits to dreams of life and death, the author brings the reader on a journey that never fails to begin on Monday.
“Black Lives Matter” by Nancy Hightower depicts the darker side of the equinox, dreary until you notice its beauty, which is not hard to do with this piece. The list of ten individuals displays instances where black lives were unjustly taken, from Ronald Madison, a forty-year-old, mentally disabled, unarmed man who was looking for supplies after Hurricane Katrina to eighteen-year-old Ramarley Graham who was “wide-eyed and confused” when police forced themselves into his home without cause. The instances grow sadder and crueler with each bulleted item. The simplistic, short lines depict the urgency of the piece and the emphasis of each word, forcing you to pay attention and to care.
There are no images in Equinox. Instead, the words, the authors, and the titles, speak for themselves, spotlighting writing from an array of genres that hold your attention until the very last page.