Why Dionysus?

You may wonder why we have decided to name our publishing company after the Greek God Dionysus. That is because we have likened our ventures of reading, writing, creating, and publishing to those of Dionysus and found it to be a good fit.

Dionysus, meaning ‘born twice’, was Zeus’s son who was also the last of the twelve Olympian deities in ancient Greece . Just like Dionysus, we believe writing is a form of re-birth; we are reborn with everything we read and write.

Dionysus represents intuitiveness, creative overflow, the truth hidden in secrets and the savage and independent beauty. Hence, Press Dionysus especially wishes to incite and provoke young writers.

Dionysus always travels to escape Hera’s scorn and hatred. He is the God of transgression, of travel, who is always on the road. He discovers new aspects and features of the places he visits, discoveries which he then turns into a fruit that he feeds on. Aren’t books a journey of sorts? Books are a visit to unknown, undiscovered and untouched lands for both the writer and reader. Both return from their visit with new lessons, new fruits, and new experiences.

It has been during these travels that Dionysus discovered grape, wine, and ecstasy. Once passing by Phrygia, he meets Cybele, the goddess of fertility, and thus meets fecundity with wine. Wherever he goes, Dionysus brings with him grapevines; these vines grow impertinent and begin to cover all in sight. He teaches people how to make wine. The God of wine he may be, but he is not insistent. Dionysus emphasises the quality of the wine, not its quantity. He shows the good and the bad; then he leaves people to make a choice. Those with consciousness choose quality whilst those without choose excess. Like a good book, Dionysus does not force us into notions of good and evil; he leads us through to where these notions dwell and leaves the decision to the reader.

Baudelaire’s poem “Be Drunk” feels as if Dionysus himself has written it.

“You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk. But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk. And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room. You wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking asks what time it is. Wind, wave, star, bird, the clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or virtue as you wish.”

Dionysus represents melancholy and gloom. As vines dry in winter and remain fruitless for months, pain and sadness constitute a significant part of Dionysus’s identity. Dionysus is to oscillate between joy, ecstasy, vitality, sorrow, pain, and death. Writing is not necessarily a joyous act. To write is sometimes to suffer. To appreciate what is written is a source of joy. As one reads and writes, consciousness grows, and aesthetic pleasures feed creative action.

Press Dionysus sees all these states of emotion as necessary features of one’s journey of recognition and discovery; thus, it invites qualified writers to meet qualified readers to be drunk on literature.

Please see our submissions page for further information on how to submit your work to us.