Editor’s Page

Fall 2007

Dear Readers:

I’m pleased to report that Persimmon Tree is growing rapidly.


Many of you have forwarded the magazine’s website to your friends and colleagues. Thank you! By doing this, you are helping to spread the word and increase our circulation. Now we need to let more organizations and groups know of our existence. We’re depending on you to help—send us names and website addresses, and we’ll do the rest.


Recently one of our readers invited friends over for a Persimmon Tree evening. They had all read the summer issue online before arriving and were primed to discuss it. The evening was a great success and she suggests that other readers do the same thing. With so much good material in the magazine, it’s a natural.


We’d like to get your opinion about the stories, articles, poetry, and art in Persimmon Tree. This helps us decide what to include in the future. But even more important, we’re interested in the questions that come to your mind and the issues that arise from reading the magazine. We want the Letters section to become a lively place where people write about what concerns them. Perhaps some day we’ll have a blog, but for now, let’s think of the Letters section as a warm-up. (Send letters to me ateditor@persimmontree.org)


Check out the Archives—they’re in this issue on the Contents page. Here you’ll be able to re-read a favorite piece that appeared in a previous issue or see what you’ve missed. One great benefit of internet publishing is that we never lose any of the fine pieces that have appeared in past issues since they all end up in the Archive.


Here’s some exciting news: Ruth Stone, whose poetry we included in our Spring 2007 issue, has been chosen to be Vermont’s new state poet. “I’m very happy,” she said to aFree Press reporter. “Vermont is a very interesting place that they would pick someone my age.” She goes on to say, “Here we are, chugging along in this strange thing called life. It is strange. Everything comes along.” Congratulations to Ruth, who is 92 and continues to write poetry.


And some sad news: Grace Paley died on August 22nd at the age of 84. Her wonderful poetry was featured in our Summer 2007 issue—you can read it in our Archive: Issue Two. Her spirit is beautifully characterized in Toi Derricotte’s poem “Grace Paley Reading,” which is included in the poetry section of this Persimmon Tree issue. I can think of no better tribute.
Warm regards,

Nan Fink Gefen
Persimmon Tree Editor


Nan Fink Gefen was the founding publisher of Tikkun magazine in 1985 and the founding editor of Persimmon Tree magazine in 2007. She is the author of Stranger in the Midst (Basic Books, 1997) and Discovering Jewish Meditation (Jewish Lights, 2nd edition 2011), and her fiction and nonfiction pieces have appeared in literary journals and magazines. She currently is working on a novel, Woman on a Wire.