Editor’s Page

Spring 2009

Dear Readers

With this issue, Persimmon Tree is two years old. We’re pleased to report that we now have readers in 58 countries and all states of the U.S. We thank each of you—our original readers—for your support in spreading the word about our website and helping us grow.

As part of our birthday celebration, we’re changing the last part of our name. We used to call ourselves a literary magazine—but that never quite fit since we’ve always included art. Now we’re Persimmon Tree: An Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty. Our new name gives us room to expand our range of offerings and explore streaming and video in the future. Please send us suggestions of what you’d like to see.

As an example of our future possibilities, check out Gena Raps’ excellent interview of the Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave in the current issue. You’ll find two places where you can click to hear some of Thea Musgrave’s contemporary music, a real treat.

In this issue, you’ll also find the results of our Western States poetry contest. We’re very pleased with the high quality of poetry that was selected by our guest judge, Lorrie Goldensohn. We only wish that we could have included more poets—we received scores of entries, many of them excellent. Those of you who submitted poems but didn’t hear back from us about whether they were accepted, we apologize for our lack of response. This time around we had a glitch in our system, but we promise that won’t happen again.

We have three more poetry contests slated for the future—Southern States, Central North States, and International. Check the “Submissions” link to read the details about these contests. And one more item about submissions: We’re looking for fiction and nonfiction writers from non-U.S. countries in our effort to include as many voices as possible. Do send us names and email addresses of people outside the U.S. who you think could write for us.

We’re pleased to announce that Moira Roth has signed on as a contributing editor, responsible for the art section of the magazine. Moira lives in the Bay Area (which means she can come to our monthly meetings), and she has taught and written extensively about contemporary art and artists.

Finally, I want to say what a privilege and honor it has been to create Persimmon Treeand watch it grow. It’s like any birth—we didn’t know what it would become when we started it. The last two years have been very exciting, with a lot of hard work by our associate editor, contributing editors, and our web staff. But making a magazine is a group effort, including those whose work has appeared on our website, those who submitted their work to us, those who wrote us with suggestions, and our readers. We can all sing “Happy Birthday” to ourselves, and feel good about what we’ve accomplished.

Best regards,

Nan Gefen


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.