Editor’s Page

Winter 2008

Dear Readers:

Bring out the trumpets: Our new name is Persimmon Tree: An Online Literary Magazine by Women Over Sixty.

The reason for this change is that our former name caused us too much trouble. The word “older” (as in Persimmon Tree: An Online Literary Magazine by Older Women) confused many of our readers because age is so relative. An example: we received lots of submissions from writers in their forties or fifties who thought they were “older,” and we had to write back, saying sorry, they were too young to contribute to the magazine. Kind of funny, but also awkward and disappointing for them.

Some of our readers found “older” offensive because it seemed to indicate they were over-the-hill and lacking in spirit—the opposite of how they perceive themselves to be. Their point was that the word is an out-of-date label that shouldn’t be used at a time when women are exploring new ways of aging. Other women objected to “older” because they saw it as a cop-out. Their suggestion was to go ahead and call ourselves “old,” because that’s really what we are.

This conversation about language was fascinating, and we thank so many readers for contributing. But enough was enough. We needed to bring clarity to our name, thus the decision that “Women Over Sixty” is who we are.

On another note, I’m pleased to announce that Marcia Freedman, a Persimmon Treecontributing editor, is now working on outreach and marketing for the magazine. There’s a lot to do. We have over 3,000 subscribers in every U.S. state and in forty countries, an admirable record for an online magazine only nine months old—but we know that many other people would love to read it if they only knew of its existence.Help spread the word by recommending the magazine to your friends, associates, and communities. And send us suggestions for places we should contact.

We editors have been grappling with a common internet problem: How can we remind you that the magazine is online without being irritating? Since it isn’t a physical presence sitting around your home or office, it’s easy to forget about it. We’ve hit on the idea of emailing you a gentle reminder once a month—when the new issue comes out and then twice while it’s online. Does that seem reasonable?

We are very excited about the mix of excellent material in this Winter 2007 issue. Check it out and let us know what you think. Also remember to take a look at the Archive (the link is on the Contents page.) There you can re-read a favorite piece or find the fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art that you missed in the past.
Best regards to all,

Nan Gefen
Senior Editor


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.