Editor’s Page

Summer 2015

Dear Readers,

Feminism suffuses this issue of Persimmon Tree. Letty Cottin Pogrebin, one of the founders of Ms. Magazine, leads off with thoughts on her body’s flaws. We invited you to respond to Vivian Gornick’s feminist polemic and you came through with comments short and long. Not surprisingly, you took a wide range of approaches, discussing religion, abortion, history, childhood, personal anecdotes, hopes and regrets, clothing.

Suzanne Juhasz’s claim, “Bringing an icon from second wave feminism into the present represents a remarkable sense of continuity between then and now,” and Janet Sunderland insisting “We have to raise our sons differently!” brought to mind two encouraging thoughts: the first is that my grandson, Oscar, at age nine, pays as much attention to gender dynamics in movies and TV programs as I do. (Perhaps that is why so many of his close friends are girls.) And two high school girls at the private girls’ school where I taught for 30 years recently created a forum for discussing feminism “in this day and age,” planning to “explore activism through art, using different media of expression to consider the ideas of diversity and modern feminism.” Note the word, “activism.” The movement continues.

With such a good response to this topic (and to earlier themes like nature and activism), we welcome suggestions for other themes you would like us all to tackle.

We will be trying a few new strategies to encourage more readers to join our mailing list, which is necessary for our continued existence. We await your responses to these invitations and, once again, ask you to spread the word in your community. Persimmon Tree needs your help to expand our circle of subscribers.

Have you listened to Robin Morgan’s interview with me on her radio program, Women’s Media Center Live? It is now a podcast – still online, perhaps forever … Click here to listen now or Download from iTunes (Episode #122).

Enjoy your summer – and let’s get out in the streets with our banners and our chants.

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.

6 thoughts on “Editor’s Page

  1. Mharlyn Merritt

    I feel as though an angel has guided me to Persimmon Tree, which I stumbled upon quite by accident while looking for something else. At the tender age of sixty-five I decided to take my writing seriously knowing this would be the only way others would do the same. I am almost finished my MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh-Dickinson, with a concentration in Fiction. I received my BS when I was sixty-three and I intend to pursue a PhD. I believe it’s not how you come in but how you go out that matters. I’m so encouraged and inspired by your magazine that as I’m writing this tears of joy are clouding my vision. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  2. Dorothy

    I am passionate about writing and reading older women in print. I have being reading Persimmon Tree since it’s inception and always find the whole issue of interest. It occurs to me that you may get such a great number of submission it is hard to consider them all. I would like to volunteer my services as a reader of fiction and non-fiction submissions. Although, I read poetry a great deal, I don’t consider myself well-enough versed in current poetry trends to be a reader. If you use volunteer readers please let me know how I might apply.
    Thank you

    1. Sue Leonard

      How lovely to hear from a loyal reader. Yes, we get many submissions, but, happily, we have a good-sized board who share in the reading tasks and share their opinions with each other as well. Any help you can give to spread the word about Persimmon Tree, though, would be greatly appreciated. We always want new readers and writers.

  3. kate westgate

    I have just discovered your website. If I sign up to your email list, will I get a whole load of unsolcited emails?

    Second – and less important – how open are you to submissions from women from outside USA? I do note that at least one story is set in England/by someone living in England.


    1. Sue Leonard

      We are delighted to receive submissions from women outside the USA. Our current poetry section is filled with poems from all over the globe.

      And we promise you will get emails only from Persimmon Tree if you sign up to our list. Please do.


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