Editor’s Page

Spring 2020


Working from home:
Despite our all being women over sixty, the variety of submissions to Persimmon Tree amazes me again and again. Short Takes – no matter the topic – at around 500 words, are the most surprising (set a topic and we never can guess what we will find when we open those emails). Fiction and nonfiction stretch the imagination and, of course, poetry contests—as I am sure the judges will attest—bring out a world of intense creativity.


But what I am most struck by today is the art we have featured in recent issues. Check Janice Mehlman’s lush photographs (yes, photographs) in the current issue, then head for the Archive and look at Millicent Young’s twig and horsehair sculptures (Issue 51) and Valerie Mendelson’s subtle watercolors (Issue 52). Talk about visual variety!

Expect to see that variety showing up in the next topic for Short Takes: Election Stories. (I can think of five of mine, all totally different.)

Since many of you will be working from home, what is coming up could keep you busy:

  1. The next Poetry Contest is for poets who live on the West Coast.
  2. The Nineteenth Amendment granting all women the vote was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920. We invite your thoughts, at any length, about this hundredth anniversary. We hope to put together a special segment with your submissions.
  3. The new Short Takes topic is Election Stories.

Yes, I know I have said nothing about the Coronavirus, but I have nothing to add to this crucial topic except keep your hands on your keyboard and away from your face.

Stay healthy,
Sue Leonard






For 45 years, Sue Leonard 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, friends and long walks.

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