Our contributors, established writers and emerging debut authors, responded with work that is resonant, original, and thoughtful, and which considers a dizzying range of mother figures: some worthy of emulation and some, cautionary tales, some selected and some foisted upon us. Here are mothers from the classics, mythology, and fairy tales. Animal, vegetable (a potato!), and mineral mothers. A surprising number of insect mothers. Mother figures from religions (many Marys), and from several cultures, including pop culture. Historical mothers. Tragic and triumphant mothers. Murderers, martyrs, and midwives. Intellectual, artist and writer mothers. We have fairy godmothers, witches, saints and the all-too-human. Planets can be mothers, as can moons.
The diversity of mother figures can be said to reflect a multiplicity of actual motherhoods. The literary and art work in this issue illuminate these figures, of motherhood in concept and in practice.