Two Hawks Quarterly (Review)
Reviewed by Brandon Bradley, Camila Cal, Aliya Gough, Christelle Jean Denis, and Jade Jemison, University of Central Florida
Two Hawks Quarterly is a digital literary magazine curated by the undergraduate creative writing students of Antioch University Los Angeles. This biannual publication features fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and the ever-experimental Genre X—characterized by writing that eludes standard genre categorization.
Upon entering the site, the current issue greets you under a banner of the magazine’s logo: two hawks whose bodies are pointed at one another and whose eyes are drawn to the publication’s title. Works are listed under their respective genre titles in light blue below black text displaying their authors. This allows for a clear and concise reading. At the bottom of each piece is a photo of the writer and a short bio. Scene breaks have a consistent hawk feather emblem that coincides with the magazine’s brand. It feels light and minimalistic. The 2020 issue displays eclectic and lyrical work per its call for submissions. The tagline for the magazine is “Read us. Write for us.” This can be felt through a line from the About Us page: “Two Hawks has been dedicated to publishing works that spark debate, challenge readers' expectations, and take risks.” With an attention to detail, voice, and pacing, Two Hawks has garnered recognition around the world only a few years after its conception.
The content the 2020 issue is reflective of such. The poem “Spring Term: Weeks 1 & 2 Or The Pit Opens” uses cultural references like Snapchat and Super Mario Brothers Wii to frame haunting themes regarding race and the cruelty of the world. It’s a brutally honest poem about the difficulties of life, and this is something to which readers can relate and in which they can find comfort, especially during hard times.
Similarly, “Terminal Lucidity” is a work of creative nonfiction that skillfully explores the sensitive topic of dementia and navigating the loss of a loved one. The author tells the story of her father’s final years through the definitions of words that related to him. Any reader will be moved by this piece filled with questions about the mysteries of our minds.
“Speck in the Expanse” by Shinelle Espaillat takes the reader through a second-person experience of dealing with a breakup and finding comfort in home as well as the realization that this hardship is only a speed bump in the journey of life. Espaillat reminds us that there is much more to life than the mini-tragedies of the ever-passing present.
Two Hawks Quarterly accomplishes its mission of publishing “exquisitely crafted works.” Because of its openness to receiving submissions from all over the world, we have the opportunity to experience a variety of writing styles and perspectives, like those in “Terminal Lucidity” and “Speck in the Expanse.” We highly recommend visiting their website, https://twohawksquarterly.com/, to experience the quality content of the magazine for yourself.