Editor’s Page

Summer 2008

Dear Readers:

I have pleasing news and sad news for you.

I’m happy to announce that Persimmon Tree continues to grow-our number of subscriptions now pushes 4,500. After a year online, the word has gotten out about the quality of the magazine, and I hear everywhere from people who really appreciate what we (all of us) are doing.

One more satisfying development: We’re in the process of setting up a way for readers to make tax-deductible contributions to Persimmon Tree. Up to this point we haven’t been able to offer this. Even so, many of you already have sent us gifts through our “Donate” button on the website or by mailing us checks. I can’t tell you how much your generosity has meant to us! But we want to open the way for those who won’t donate unless we have a tax-deductible means.

In this age of consciousness about social networking, we think of Persimmon Tree as a place to belong. I urge you to claim the magazine as yours, a community you identify with. Hopefully we’ll have a blog in the future and make it possible for you to share your thoughts and ideas with each other. In the meanwhile, continue to send your email letters to us at editor@persimmontree.org.

Because Persimmon Tree is a community, it saddens us especially to lose one of our own. On May 29, 2008, Paula Gunn Allen, a contributor to the magazine, died at the age of 68. For the last thirty years Paula was a foremost voice in Native American literature and the study of American literature. Her moving nonfiction piece, “The Perils of Being Paula,” appeared in the Summer 2007 issue (now in Archive.) Here is an excerpt from one of her poems:

Even so, the spent voices are singing,
their thoughts are dancing in the dirty air.
Their feet touch the cement, the asphalt
delighting, still they weave dreams upon our
shadowed skulls, if we could listen.
If we could hear.

-Paula Gunn Allen
from “Kopis’taya, a Gathering of Spirits”

Best regards for a good summer

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.