What a batch of troublemakers you are: we asked for reactions to the new administration and your pieces poured in. Long pieces describing the Inauguration and the Women’s March that followed. Shorter memories of earlier struggles, plus strategies for survival. Wonderful photos. We have published them all in this issue. The last issue brought many angry and wise responses to the Editorial Board pieces; check them out by going to new.persimmontree.org , clicking on Archive and scrolling down to Issue 40. Busy times: signing petitions, making phone calls, writing letters, and continuing to gather and protest and march. Keep up the work of resistance and endurance and keep sending us your stories.
Marvelous news about one of our featured artists, Joyce J. Scott (“Beading for her Life”, Winter 2015), who was awarded a MacArthur genius grant—and a genius she is. The citation read, in part: “Scott continues to push the expressive potential of beading in her recent work. She integrates her trademark beadwork with blown glass sculptures in pieces created in collaboration with artisans in Murano, Italy, and she is currently at work on an outdoor installation in homage to Harriet Tubman that will be of unprecedented scale. Scott’s diverse and adventurous body of work blurs the boundaries between fine art and craft and challenges viewers to confront the darker aspects of human nature in scenes both contemporary and historical.” (Note the echoes of artists represented in the current issue.)
Sadder news: We received a touching appreciation of the writer Ann St James (“Ed Is Dead,” Spring 2013) from Sally McClellan who visited Ann at the end of her life. She said, in part, “When I was leaving, when I had gotten to the bottom of the outside stairs, I turned back to wave, but she was not looking at me. Her head was bent to her book. She was so alone in the green-gold afternoon light coming through the long branches, arching over her. I only looked up for a second, but it was an eternity, and I’ll never forget it. She was already on her way, far from me.” Sorry for her loss.
Finally, news about us: Our splendid poetry editor, Wendy Barker, is moving on to meet the many demands on her life. She writes: “Working with Sue Leonard and the other editors of Persimmon Tree has been a joy, and I’m thrilled that our online journal is thriving, reaching and involving so many women (and men!) from all over our country and beyond. I may be departing as poetry editor, but I know the poetry section is in marvelous hands with Peggy Shumaker. And I certainly hope (and plan) to stay in close touch!”
Wendy invited Peggy Shumaker, the poet featured in this issue, to tackle the duties of poetry editor going forward. Check out her bio in the poetry section. We are delighted to have Peggy as part of our team.