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.

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).

Greta Berman received a B.A. from Antioch College, an M.A. from the University of Stockholm, and a Ph.D. from Columbia. She has been Professor of Art History at Juilliard since 1978. 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. Greta is Art Editor of Persimmon Tree.

Marcia Freedman (1938-2021) was a member of Persimmon Tree‘s founding editorial board. Marcia served until last year 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).

Nan Gefen founded Persimmon Tree in 2007 and is its Publisher/Editor Emerita. She 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.

Cynthia Hogue is Persimmon Tree‘s Poetry Editor. She has published fourteen books, including nine poetry collections, most recently Revenance (2014) and In June the Labyrinth (2017), both with Red Hen Press. Her co-translation, from the French of Nathalie Quintane, is Joan Darc (La Presse, 2018). Among her honors are a Fulbright and two NEA Fellowships. Hogue directed the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University from 1995-2003, after which she assumed the inaugural Marshall Chair in Poetry at Arizona State University. She is Emerita Professor of English and lives in Tucson.

Sue Leonard is Editor-in-Chief of Persimmon Tree. 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.

Gena Raps, Persimmon Tree Music Editor, has performed internationally and across the United States.  Her recordings of Mozart, Brahms, and Dvorak can be found on 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.  

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 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 (called EZ by all who know her) is on Persimmon Tree‘s editorial board and is its 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.


Publisher/Editor Emeritus
Nan Fink Gefen

Sue Leonard

Jean Zorn

Contributing Editors
Greta Berman
Kitty Cunningham
Marcia Freedman
Cynthia Hogue
Gena Raps
Elizabeth Zimmer
Jean Zorn
Marketing and Fundraising
Marcia Freedman, Emeritus
Jean Zorn
Judith Arcana
Anita Barrows
Jill Breckenridge
Rosellen Brown
Toi Derricotte
Eve Ensler
Lillian Faderman
Tess Gallagher
Sandra Gilbert
Vivian Gornick
Susan Griffin
Marilyn Hacker
Maxine Hong Kingston
Maxine Kumin
Jane Lazarre
Deena Metzger
Naomi Newman
Alicia Ostriker
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Martha Roth
Sonia Sanchez
Gloria Steinem
Marilyn Yalom
Susan Yankowitz
Website Programming
Girls Are Smarter Inc. / Laura Laytham
Mills Liaison
Renee Jadushlever

We acknowledge with gratitude the help and support of our many friends—and we remember our dear friend, Esther Broner, who inspired us as we created the magazine and whose spirit continues to inspire. We also remember our good friend and colleague, Linda Boldt, member of the editorial board, assistant editor and constant collaborator, who brought her intelligence and warmth to every aspect of producing the magazine.


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
20 W. 64th Street, Apt 30N
New York, New York 10023



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