About Us

Demeter Press: Feminist Publishing on Mothering, Reproduction, Sexuality and Family

Founded in 2006, Demeter is an independent feminist press committed to publishing peer-reviewed scholarly work, fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction on mothering, reproduction, sexuality and family. Demeter is partnered with the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Comunity Involvement (MIRCI). The press is named in honour of the Goddess Demeter, herstory’s most celebrated empowered and outraged mother.

The Myth of Demeter and Persephone

Demeter was the Greek goddess of agriculture and fertility who unleashed her power when her beloved daughter Persephone was abducted and taken to the underworld by the god Hades. Overcome with rage and grief, Demeter withheld the coming of Spring leaving the chief god Zeus, who was now faced with the plight of the earth’s barrenness, with no choice but to demand that Hades return Persephone to her mother. In her classic book Of Woman Born, Adrienne Rich interprets the Demeter/Persephone story as a compelling representation of every daughter’s “longing for a mother whose love for her and whose power were so great as to undo rape and bring her back from death,” signifying “every mother’s longing for the power of Demeter and the efficacy of her anger.” In patriarchal culture, where there are so few examples of empowered mothering, in both life and literature, Demeter’s triumphant resistance serves as model for the possibility—and power—of feminist mothering.