When we sent out a call for stories about immigration and immigrants, the pieces poured in – many more pieces than we can use in one issue. We chose a varied batch to publish now and saved many for later issues. Typical of Persimmon Tree readers, they interpreted the topic in more ways than any of us had imagined: Harrowing stories of escape. Inspiring stories of acclimation and the people who helped them. Stories of people who preferred to return home. Contemporary stories; historical accounts. Long stories and short.
Our featured poet, Marilyn Nelson, gives us accounts of the African-American experience. Not immigrant stories, not even the euphemistic “forced immigration” stories. Rather, she forcefully reminds us of the trials and contributions of descendants of enslaved Africans to America’s history and culture.
The search for artists (female and over 60) who were immigrants or who portrayed immigrants in their work was hampered by my inability to ask Google the right question. Luckily, Elaine Lorenz, the artist featured in the Winter issue, alerted me to Ellen Singer. What I did find online, however, is this story, a story that is the very definition of irony:
The model for the Statue of Liberty—yes, the one in New York Harbor that has greeted immigrants for generations—was an Arab woman. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the statue, loved all things Egyptian. He wanted to commemorate the opening of the Suez Canal with a monument that was an Arab woman, dressed as a peasant, holding a torch above her head. His plan was scotched when the ruler of Egypt went bankrupt. What to do? He had also intended to give a gift to the United States in time to celebrate the centennial of the American Revolution. Voila! How about turning her into a goddess of liberty dressed in a toga?
Greetings and thank you for extending ArtsMart to allow women like me an opportunity to thrive through our writing. I retire in two weeks from my service as Professor of English at Dalton State College, in Dalton, GA. Although I have published 4 chapbooks of poetry since 2010, I only recently had my first full collection, Beauty Bound, a finalist in the Main Street Rag Book Competition, accepted for publication. What I hope you can help me with is a blurb. (less than 75 words). The blurbs I have secured so far are from the East Coast, and I am attempting to secure one more endorsement from a notable female author, West Coast. If there is a willing participant, I can send the ms. pdf. My book explores the extremes that people of various cultures go to to obtain beauty, and the entrapment of beauty. Thank you.
Author of Growing Up with Pigtails
I look forward to receiving issues and announcements. Thanks!
I am 64 this month and have not been good about getting my poetry out. As of now, I have a full manuscript of poems that was professionally edited so that it is down to chaobook size. It looks like if I self published I could put it on your website in your Art shop? Or do you publish chapbooks?
I also have a collection of poems from my students, women in a residential treatment facility I am intending to self publish this month.
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