Persimmon Tree

Persimmon Tree An Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty.
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Sue Leonard is the senior editor of the magazine and head of the editorial board. She retired in 2004 from teaching history and politics at an independent girls' school. Nan Gefen founded Persimmon Tree in 2007 and is its current publisher. She has published two nonfiction books, and her novel, Clear Lake, recently won the gold medal in general fiction in the IndieFab contest.... Editorial board member Kitty Cunningham retired in 2000 from her position as Head Librarian from the same independent girls' school at which Sue worked. She is the author of Conversations with a Dancer with Michael Ballard (St. Martin's Press, 1981). Editorial board member Natalie Levy describes her life in reverse: artist, legal recruiter, lawyer, mother, student, little kid. Editorial board member Elizabeth Zimmer writes about the arts, mostly dance, and teaches writing all over the place, most recently at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. Editorial board member Jean Zorn teaches property law, and is Interim Director of Administrative Services, Title IX Coordinator and Chief Diversity Officer at CUNY School of Law. Editorial board member Gena Raps is a concert pianist whose new recording of the late piano works of Brahms was released last year to stunning reviews in Audiophile and in Fanfare. She is on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan. Editorial board member Wendy Barker has published five collections of poetry and three chapbooks, most recently, Nothing Between Us, a novel in prose poems. She is Poet-in-Residence and the Pearl LeWinn Endowed Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Editorial board member Marcia Freedman is a member of the founding Editorial Board of Persimmon Tree. She has published a political memoir, Exile in the Promised Land, an account of the establishment of second-wave feminism in Israel and her experience as a Member of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament).

Mission: Persimmon Tree, an online magazine, is a showcase for the creativity and talent of women over sixty. Too often older women's artistic work is ignored or disregarded, and only those few who are already established receive the attention they deserve. Yet many women are at the height of their creative abilities in their later decades and have a great deal to contribute. Persimmon Tree is committed to bringing this wealth of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art to a broader audience, for the benefit of all. We invite you to submit to Persimmon Tree. Please follow the instructions on the magazine's submissions page at http://www.persimmontree.org/v2/submissions/

Our new special Corona supplement issue just went live!Where I Live: Coping with Corona is available athttps://persimmon...
05/26/2020
Where I Live: Coping With Corona – Persimmon Tree

Our new special Corona supplement issue just went live!

Where I Live: Coping with Corona is available at
https://persimmontree.org/where-i-live-coping-with-corona/

You can also view all our special supplements here:
https://persimmontree.org/corona-issues-2020/

Where I Live: Coping With Corona No. 4 Merci, wall mural by Swiss graffiti artist “S.I.D.” A Word From the Publisher by Jean Zorn If you insist on criticizing, then at least surround it with praise. First praise, then criticize, then praise again. Mao Tse Tung is usually given the credit for tha...

We are very happy to be bringing you another special Persimmon Tree issue – with all the stories and poems and music and...
04/23/2020
Persimmon Tree – An Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty

We are very happy to be bringing you another special Persimmon Tree issue – with all the stories and poems and music and photos and paintings you need to make those long stay-at-home days seem shorter – and more fun – and maybe even as if you aren’t at home at all.

https://www.persimmontree.org

Spring 2020 Love in a Time of Corona No. 1 The Prose Elaine Barnard, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Nan Fink Gefen, Patricia Gallagher, Cynthia Hogue, Carol Nadell, Jane O’Reilly, Eleanor Rubin, Carol Westreich Solomon Music by Gena Raps. Art by Susan Florence & Francesca King. Introduction by Jean Z...

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - ...
04/19/2020
Persimmon Tree – An Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
(Emily Dickinson)

www.persimmontree.org

Spring 2020 Love in a Time of Corona No. 1 The Prose Elaine Barnard, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Nan Fink Gefen, Patricia Gallagher, Cynthia Hogue, Carol Nadell, Jane O’Reilly, Eleanor Rubin, Carol Westreich Solomon Music by Gena Raps. Art by Susan Florence & Francesca King. Introduction by Jean Z...

Lone Star Literary Life
04/18/2020

Lone Star Literary Life

Our Saturday National Poetry Month spotlight is on GLOSS (Saint Julian Press) by Texas Poet Wendy Barker. Available in paperback.

Stuck at home for the weekend - again? Curl up with the special corona virus issues of www.PersimmonTree.org.
04/17/2020
Persimmon Tree – An Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty

Stuck at home for the weekend - again? Curl up with the special corona virus issues of www.PersimmonTree.org.

Spring 2020 Love in a Time of Corona No. 1 The Prose Elaine Barnard, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Nan Fink Gefen, Patricia Gallagher, Cynthia Hogue, Carol Nadell, Jane O’Reilly, Eleanor Rubin, Carol Westreich Solomon Music by Gena Raps. Art by Susan Florence & Francesca King. Introduction by Jean Z...

Persimmon Tree presents - for your enjoyment - poems and stories, music and painting, exploring the hopes and fears, the...
04/15/2020
Persimmon Tree – An Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty

Persimmon Tree presents - for your enjoyment - poems and stories, music and painting, exploring the hopes and fears, the joys and worries, of women who, like you, are waiting out the virus. Here's one. For more, go to https://persimmontree.org

SHELTERING IN PLACE
By Elaine Piper

Sheltering in my place that used to be ours
until you died suddenly five years ago.

My place, that used to be ours to remodel and restore
where I manage apartments upstairs and live on the ground floor.

You aren’t here to play gin rummy and scrabble
to bake sweet treats or go to the market
wearing masks and gloves risking our lives together.

My place, that used to be ours, is filled with music to quell
my fear, to feed my soul and where I sometimes sing or dance out my stress.

You aren’t here so I walk our dog on the deserted sidewalks alone
and fill my time with video chats with new friends on the computer
in the office that used to be yours.

My place, that used to be ours, is now lit by candles
to soften the reality of your death, my loneliness and the scourge outside the door.

You aren’t here so I walk on my treadmill
and binge watch TV picking a special movie for the
dinner hour and eat my meal alone on a TV tray in the living room.

My place, that used to be ours,
will keep me safe while I shelter
with my memories of you - and wait.

Spring 2020 Love in a Time of Corona No. 1 The Prose Elaine Barnard, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Nan Fink Gefen, Patricia Gallagher, Cynthia Hogue, Carol Nadell, Jane O’Reilly, Eleanor Rubin, Carol Westreich Solomon Music by Gena Raps. Art by Susan Florence & Francesca King. Introduction by Jean Z...

Our second installment of our Love in a Time of Corona is now available in our spring issue. Prose, poetry and art all s...
04/14/2020
Persimmon Tree – An Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty

Our second installment of our Love in a Time of Corona is now available in our spring issue. Prose, poetry and art all submitted by our readers and contributors. Enjoy!

You can find it here: https://www.persimmontree.org

Spring 2020 Love in a Time of Corona No. 1 The Prose Elaine Barnard, Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer, Nan Fink Gefen, Patricia Gallagher, Cynthia Hogue, Carol Nadell, Jane O’Reilly, Eleanor Rubin, Carol Westreich Solomon Music by Gena Raps. Art by Susan Florence & Francesca King. Introduction by Jean Z...

Our second installment of Love in a Time of Corona is now available!
04/14/2020
Love in a Time of Corona No. 2

Our second installment of Love in a Time of Corona is now available!

The editors of Persimmon Tree are delighted to welcome you to a second installment of our special corona issues.  We hope you continue to be safe and well.  And we hope this installment, like the first one, brings you all the comfort and joy we had in preparing it for you.

Our special addition to the spring issue is now online. This is the first of two parts that include submissions from you...
04/06/2020
Love in a Time of Corona No. 1

Our special addition to the spring issue is now online.

This is the first of two parts that include submissions from you, our readers.

Enjoy!

https://www.persimmontree.org

The first special corona issue of Persimmon Tree is now available. Persimmon Tree is happy to host this as a gift to our readers. But it is a gift from all of you to each other as well. So many of you took the time and spared the attention to submit something wonderful for us and for your fellow re...

Stuck at Home?
03/25/2020
Stuck at Home?

Stuck at Home?

Dear Readers, Have you done all the cleaning a person can do? Have all the closets been emptied and put back together again? Is that needlepoint starting to unravel, those clay pots piling up next to the kiln, the fifteenth watercolor left to dry? Have you even watched Netflix one hour too many, re...

03/17/2020

The spring 2020 issue of Persimmon Tree has arrived – with a sophisticated new look!

Read it all here: https://persimmontree.org/

MOMENTARILY UNTITLEDWhat did I come intothis room for?The name of that restaurant?The street where she lives?What was it...
02/23/2020
Poets from the East Coast – Persimmon Tree

MOMENTARILY UNTITLED
What did I come into
this room for?

The name of that restaurant?
The street where she lives?

What was it no one told me?

The post office box
won’t open with my house key.

I thought it was still August
but this is where I live.

Who gifted me that carved
wooden monk on the window sill?

Her first name started with a G.

What was it he said
that made me leave him?

Wasn’t there a grudge?
Or, two?

That shrub was mock orange,
until I remember it’s honeysuckle.

But weren’t there countless
mistaken identities?

Is my password still swallowtail?

Did we see that movie?
Did I enjoy it?

Were his dying words to me,
everlasting joy,

or joy everlasting?

-- from L.R. Berger, featured in our East Coast Poetry in our winter issue.

Read the other poems from this issue here:
https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/poets-from-the-east-coast/

NEWS FROM THE CLASSICAL MUSIC WORLD IN NYCThere have been two breakthroughs recently in the world of classical music fea...
02/18/2020
An Interview with Thea Musgrave – Scottish-American Composer – Persimmon Tree

NEWS FROM THE CLASSICAL MUSIC WORLD IN NYC

There have been two breakthroughs recently in the world of classical music featuring women composers, in the fair city of New York. The Juilliard School’s Focus Festival featured 6(!) concerts in Sharp Auditorium and Tully Hall of music by women called Trailblazers; Pioneering Women Composers of the 20th century. The last program included Ethel Smyth, Thea Musgrave and Sofia Gubaidulina. Many of the women heard were names unknown such as Elisabeth Lutyens, Galina Ustvolskaya, Liu Zhuang, Elizabeth Maconchy.

The New York Philharmonic is celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage in the USA with Project 19, a women-only commissioning initiative of 19 composers. The music will be performed over the next few years.

Gena Raps interviewed two of the women featured in these concerts for Persimmon Tree; the interviews of Thea Musgrave and Tania Leon can be found in our archive.

Thea Musgrave Interview:
https://persimmontree.org/spring-2009/an-interview-with-thea-musgrave-scottish-american-composer/

Tania Leon: In Motion:
https://persimmontree.org/summer-2016/in-motion/

(Copyright 2009 Gena Raps. All rights reserved.)   “Yes, I am a woman; and I am a composer. But rarely at the same time.” Rich and powerful musical language and a strong sense of drama have made Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave one of the most respected and exciting contemporary compose...

"Valerie Mendelson is a painter and art historian living in New York. Her work has been widely shown, including at the W...
02/17/2020
Valerie Mendelson, Painter – Persimmon Tree

"Valerie Mendelson is a painter and art historian living in New York. Her work has been widely shown, including at the Westbeth Gallery, the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, the Laurel Tracey Gallery, and the Painting Center. Her articles have been published by Bloomsbury Press, Antipodes, Open Library for the Humanities, and the International Journal of the Book.


We are showing a sample from her collection of teapots, of which she has said, “Collecting can be a random amassing, a systematic gathering, or an accumulation over time. In each case numbers of objects are involved. Finding relationships between these objects is in itself meditative and creative. The teapots are an homage to my mother-in-law Marjorie Rocheman. I painted her collection of teapots on fabric that she had also collected.”

She has a lot to say about painting from nature: ”Flowers are emblematic of painting for me. Their fragility, their ephemerality, and their extravagance enthrall me. I also love that flower paintings are generally considered a ’’minor’ genre, a ’feminine’ genre.”
-- from Valerie Mendelson, Painter, our art feature in our winter issue.

View all her paintings here: https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/valerie-mendelson-painter/

02/11/2020
Responses to Lucy Marx, ‘The Reckoning of Junot Díaz’ – Persimmon Tree

"Thank you for publishing Lucy Marx’s thoughtful essay “The Reckoning of Junot Díaz.” As the conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace continues and the struggle for respect for women in society moves forward, we need spaces to attend to these complicated questions. Marx’s essay is a good example of getting at those complications and seizing the opportunity afforded by the #MeToo movement and the attention it has brought to these issues. It’s necessary to hold individuals such as Díaz accountable for their actions, but it’s not sufficient. A broader conversation is needed to create consensus about acceptable behavior and how to foster it. We must create structures and mechanisms for holding this conversation and for dealing with new cases as more women are brave enough to come forward with their experiences."
-- from Responses to Lucy Marx, ‘The Reckoning of Junot Díaz’ by Connie Nelson in our winter issue.

Read the full issue here: https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/responses-to-lucy-marx/

Reckoning Along the Truth and Reconciliation Path by Connie Nelson Thank you for publishing Lucy Marx’s thoughtful essay “The Reckoning of Junot Díaz.” As the conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace continues and the struggle for respect for women in society moves forward, we ne...

"As I drove down the freeway, my radio program was interrupted by an enthusiastic young man suggesting products I might ...
02/05/2020
Full Body Scan – Persimmon Tree

"As I drove down the freeway, my radio program was interrupted by an enthusiastic young man suggesting products I might buy to overcome the ravages of the aging process. Really?, I thought. Am I ravaged? Ravaged sounded permanent. Like a building that has already collapsed.


When I arrived home, I removed my coat and shoes, then my bra (we’ll get to that later) and readied myself for a full body scan to assess my ravages. Pulling off my socks, I focused on a nearly forty-year-old bunion (a direct consequence of the requisite pointed toe shoe designs of my pre-feminist young adulthood) covered with a day-old curling bunion pad, and started the process at floor level.

My feet are decidedly flat. When I was eight years old, my nervous mother took me to a chiropodist who determined that I needed steel arch supports inside my Buster Brown oxfords. They didn’t work, my arches never rose, and he later became my piano teacher, but that’s another story. My toenails are currently a bright red because five of my old-woman friends and I just came back from a vacation/celebration of our 30-year friendship, and knowing I would be wearing a bathing suit in public I decided to paint the parts of my body that still lent themselves to decorative enhancement."
-- from Sandra Butler's "Full Body Scan" in our winter issue.

Read the full piece here: https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/full-body-scan/

As I drove down the freeway, my radio program was interrupted by an enthusiastic young man suggesting products I might buy to overcome the ravages of the aging process. Really?, I thought. Am I ravaged? Ravaged sounded permanent. Like a building that has already collapsed.   When I arrived home, I ...

01/30/2020

"Colleen is clean again, her body washed with warm water and a no-rinse soap, the kind used in hospitals and nursing homes when the patient is hooked up to machines and cannot be wheeled into the shower. Marnetta and I, who are bathing her, are Colleen’s spiritual sisters in the absence of biological ones. Over the years, we have come together periodically to listen to each other, share milestone birthdays, work on bucket lists. Now we are here to care for Colleen with a tub of warm water and a dry-shampoo cap.


From her head to her feet, we wash her tenderly, vigilantly monitoring for signs of skin breakdown and scrubbing away the sour body odor to replace it with Winter Morning lotion. Marnetta agrees when I comment that, having lived in winter worlds many years, I never associated it with a particular scent, and certainly not this one. Some lonely soul in a lab must have thought the name sounded cozy, comforting. Someone who lived near a sunny beach in a non-wintry state such as Florida. Someone who doesn’t know that winter mornings are aesthetically beautiful, but devoid of fragrance."

-- from Hope Nisly's "Never Take a Drop of H2O Lightly” in our winter issue.

Read the full piece here:
https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/never-take-a-drop-of-h20-lightly/

"Like any other day. Little old lady, eighty-two years, hunched over my home office desk and laptop, messing around. Che...
01/24/2020
The System – Persimmon Tree

"Like any other day. Little old lady, eighty-two years, hunched over my home office desk and laptop, messing around. Check email, get online messages from health insurance, look up passwords: the never-ending daily tedium. But better than trying to write stupid stuff of no interest to anyone. Better to perform my expanding daily duties while blaming others or the “system.” When a block of time opens, I obsessively gravitate to reading rather than writing.


But wait. Here’s something – an invitation to a reception honoring one of my professor colleagues from my previous university department. Sounds like something I would like to attend, so I hit print. Immediately, a flashing pop-up screams “paper jam.” This on a day I hope to try to un-jam my own writer’s block."

-- from Jane DiVita Woody's "The System" in our winter issue.

Read the full piece here:
https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/the-system/

Like any other day. Little old lady, eighty-two years, hunched over my home office desk and laptop, messing around. Check email, get online messages from health insurance, look up passwords: the never-ending daily tedium. But better than trying to write stupid stuff of no interest to anyone. Better....

"Anyone who has a sibling can understand how Cain might have socked Abel when God preferred mutton to bread. Or how Esau...
01/18/2020
That Mess of Pottage – Persimmon Tree

"Anyone who has a sibling can understand how Cain might have socked Abel when God preferred mutton to bread.

Or how Esau might have wanted to slay his brother when Isaac mistook Jacob’s lamb curry for Esau’s venison stew.

Or even how Medea might have chopped up her younger brother in bits and tossed him lump-meal into the sea, that little tittle-tattle-tell.

Consider those long legends of parental partiality, never a question which child was good and which was bad, never a query which offspring the mother or father or fairy godmother loved best or why."
-- from L. M. Harrod's "That Mess of Pottage” in our current winter issue.

Read the full piece here:
https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/the-bad-thing/

Anyone who has a sibling can understand how Cain might have socked Abel when God preferred mutton to bread.   Or how Esau might have wanted to slay his brother when Isaac mistook Jacob’s lamb curry for Esau’s venison stew. Or even how Medea might have chopped up her younger brother in bits and ...

"Magdalena lay on the clean white bed sheet, the cover sheet rumpled at her feet. So hot. Almost too hot to breathe. Ern...
01/13/2020
What? Tell Me, What? – Persimmon Tree

"Magdalena lay on the clean white bed sheet, the cover sheet rumpled at her feet. So hot. Almost too hot to breathe. Ernesto was pretending to be asleep, his strong brown back turned toward her, careful not to touch. She didn’t dare reach for him, to swirl his long hair away from his damp skin, wouldn’t run her hand along his sweaty shoulder. “Water? Ernesto, could I get you some cool water?” His too-steady breathing continued, in out, in out, in out."
-- from Charlotte Morgan's "What? Tell Me, What?" in our winter issue

Read the full piece here: https://persimmontree.org/winter-2020/what-tell-me-what/

Magdalena lay on the clean white bed sheet, the cover sheet rumpled at her feet. So hot. Almost too hot to breathe. Ernesto was pretending to be asleep, his strong brown back turned toward her, careful not to touch. She didn’t dare reach for him, to swirl his long hair away from his damp skin, wou...

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Comments

So glad for you. Women writers need your support.
see my piece in Short Takes this issue, Thx PT
BYE