About Us

Who We Are

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.

Greta Berman is Art Editor of Persimmon Tree. She received a B.A. from Antioch College, an M.A. from the University of Stockholm, and a Ph.D. from Columbia. She has recently retired from her position as Professor of Art History at Juilliard, where she taught for 46 years. In addition to writing a monthly column, “Focus on Art,” for the Juilliard Journal, she co-curated and co-edited Synesthesia: Art and the Mind with Carol Steen, at the McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Ontario in 2008. She and Steen also published a chapter titled “Synesthesia and the Artistic Process” for the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia (Oxford University Press), 2013. She has published numerous articles, as well as lectured on synesthesia, and other subjects.

Cynthia Hogue’s tenth book of collected poetry, instead, it is dark, was published by Red Hen Press in June of 2023. Her other collections include Revenance, listed as one of the 2014 “Standout” books by the Academy of American Poets, and In June the Labyrinth (2017). Her third book-length translation (with Sylvain Gallais) is Nicole Brossard’s Distantly (Omnidawn 2022). Her Covid chapbook is entitled Contain (Tram Editions 2022). Among her honors are a Fulbright Fellowship to Iceland, two NEA Fellowships, and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets (2013). She served as Guest Editor for Poem-a-Day for September (2022), sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Hogue was the inaugural Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. She lives in Tucson.

Gena Raps, Persimmon Tree Music Editor, has performed internationally and across the United States.  Her performances of Mozart, Brahms, and Dvorak have been recorded by the Musical Heritage Society, Arabesque and Naxos among others. She has taught at the Juilliard School, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Mannes College of Music and has received numerous prizes and honors. She has been on the jury for competitions at the Juilliard School and the Fulbright Fellowship.  

Margaret E. (Peggy) Wagner is Editor in Chief of Persimmon Tree. Her 35 years with the Publishing Office of the Library of Congress, first as writer/editor, later as managing editor, afforded her broad experience in all phases of print and online publishing. She led the project teams that produced some of the Library’s major reference works, and is also a published author herself. Peggy’s passions include wide reading and a deep appreciation for the power and importance of fiction, poetry, music, and the visual arts.

Nancy H. Williard, who has recently joined Persimmon Tree’s volunteer staff, primarily as a proofreader, returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina after twenty years living outside Yosemite in California. After fifty years of work as an educator and librarian, she traded her Harley for an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. In 2021, her short story won an Honorable Mention in the Doris Betts Fiction Prize. (she/her) https://www.nhwilliard.com

Elizabeth Zimmer writes, mostly about the arts; teaches writing wherever she is invited; and edits manuscripts of all sorts, including those on this site. She holds a B.A. from Bennington College, where she studied with Howard Nemerov, and an M.A. from Stony Brook University. She practices the Feldenkrais Method, and works as a standardized patient in hospitals and medical schools. Her ambition is to flourish as a stand-up comic. Elizabeth serves on Persimmon Tree‘s editorial committee and is the magazine’s chief proofreader.

Jean Zorn is the publisher, with responsibility for Persimmon Tree‘s administrative, legal and financial matters. She is a lawyer, and retired in March 2018 from the City University of New York School of Law, where she had worked for more than 30 years, primarily as a Professor of Law, and, most recently, as Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Finance. In addition to her publishing duties, Jean edits Short Takes.



Nan Gefen founded Persimmon Tree in 2007 and is its Publisher/Editor Emerita. She has recently agreed to join the Board of Directors of Persimmon Tree Inc. Nan has published three nonfiction books, most recently It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-aged Daughters. Her novel, Clear Lake, won the gold medal in general fiction in the IndieFab contest. She has recently agreed to serve on the Board of Directors of Persimmon Tree Inc.

Sue Leonard served as Editor in Chief of Persimmon Tree from 2012 to 2022. She was the magazine’s second editor after its founder Nan Gefen. For 45 years, she taught every variety of history except American mostly at independent high schools for girls – with a brief stint in a poverty program school for pregnant teens in Bedford Stuyvesant. In the mid-nineties she and her late husband John Leonard were co-editors of the Books and Arts section of the Nation Magazine. Since retiring, Sue has filled up her days with reading, needlework, family, and friends.

Kitty Cunningham (1935-2023) was a contributing editor of Persimmon Tree until her retirement from the editorial board in December 2021. She is the author, with Michael Ballard, of Conversations with a Dancer (St. Martin’s Press, 1981). Kitty was for many years Head Librarian at the Brearley School in Manhattan.

Marcia Freedman (1938-2021) was a member of Persimmon Tree‘s founding editorial board. Marcia served until 2020 as Persimmon Tree’s marketing and fundraising director, and was indefatigable in both roles, making a success both of ArtsMart and of Persimmon Tree‘s semi-annual fund drives. She 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).


Persimmon Tree Inc. Board of Directors
Nan Fink Gefen
Gena Raps
Margaret E. Wagner
Jean Zorn

Margaret E. Wagner

Jean Zorn

Contributing Editors
Greta Berman
Cynthia Hogue
Gena Raps
Elizabeth Zimmer
Marketing and Fundraising
Jean Zorn
Founding Publisher/Editor
Nan Fink Gefen
Editor Emerita
Sue Leonard
Marketing and Fundraising Emerita
Marcia Freedman
Website Programming
Girls Are Smarter Inc. / Laura Laytham


Contact Us

Please email editor@persimmontree.org to contact the Persimmon Tree editorial staff.

Email publisher@persimmontree.org in regard to any questions or issues regarding Persimmon Tree, Inc.

Email webmaster@persimmontree.org with any problems you have with this website.

We prefer to communicate through email, but if you need to snail mail us something,
our address is:

Persimmon Tree
c/o Jean Zorn, Publisher
20 W. 64th St., Apt. 30N
New York, NY 10021



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