In Greek mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter. As a young girl, while alone picking flowers in a field, Persephone is abducted by Hades, ruler of the underworld and brother of Zeus. As this version of the story goes, Hades makes Persephone queen of the underworld where she spends half the year; the other half, she returns to be with her mother above ground. Among her many symbols, Persephone is considered the protector of young girls.
Persephone’s Daughters is a quarterly print and digital publication of poetry, prose, and art that embraces and creates a space for this next generation of powerful protectors of women. Founder and Editor in Chief Meggie Royer says, “Our mission for creating this magazine is to empower female survivors of abuse who often do not get to see themselves, or other women who have endured similar experiences, represented in literary magazines. Having already been stripped of their voices through assault and abuse, we cannot and will not allow these women’s voices to be stripped away a second time within the literary community.”
As such, Royer says readers coming to the publication can expect to find “poetry, prose, and art about survival, about the aftermath of all kinds of abuse and degradation, including (especially) the healing. Each issue of Persephone’s Daughters is centered around survivors of abuse and the various ways they cope through their art.”
The first issue packs in over 80 contributors’ works, including art by Haele Wolfe, Kathie Rogers, and Emily Iannarilli, prose by Mitzi Luna, Olivia Sanders, Milly Hill, and Shirin Choudhary, and poetry by Hannah Hamilton, Schuyler Peck, and Jane Werntz. Interviews with Amanda Oaks, Yasmin Belkhyr, and Clementine von Radics are also featured.
Persephone’s Daughters has an incredible staff, including dozens of readers and art evaluators, tech and social media assistants, managing editors and submissions managers. Among them are Senior Editor of Prose Jessica Therese, Senior Editor of Poetry Ashe Vernon, and Senior Manager of Art Lora Mathis.
Writers and artists can expect that their works will be given much attention. According to Royer, all written submissions are read through and voted on by the publication’s large body of readers. Artworks are evaluated and voted on by the art evaluators. Writing submissions that pass the reading stage are next given suggested edits and revisions by the poetry and prose editors, who work closely with their authors “to ensure that the final product is something that makes everyone happy.”
Moving forward, Royer hopes that Persephone’s Daughters will expand its reach, “continuing to collect remarkable works of art from people all around the world with stories of their survival.”