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Persimmon Tree - Fall 2012

  • Published Date: Fall 2012
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly online

This magazine is one that features women writers all over the age of 60. The editors write, “Too often older women’s artistic work is ignored or disregarded, and only those few who are already established receive the attention they deserve. Yet many women are at the height of their creative abilities in their later decades and have a great deal to contribute.” This magazine’s mission is endearing, especially to me as my grandmother didn’t even start writing until she was in her ‘60s. It’s nice to see a magazine that showcases this type of work.

“The Unemployed Nymph and the Glass Ceiling” by Hallie Moore tells a story about a modern day issue—in it, the main character is denied a job, for the most part, because she is female— through the characters of Greek mythology. Nysa, a nymph banished from Circe’s island, tries to become the new guardian of the gates of hell. Her interviewer responds with a simple “Hmmm, yes, Miss. You do seem to have excellent qualifications. You’re quite a high-tech girl. But I’m not sure Hell is ready for someone like you.”

Martha Kilgore Rice’s story is about a woman, married as a virgin, who takes up reading and writing romance novels. This, in turn, inspires the passion into her marriage, something that had been missing, turning the story itself into a bit of a romance story.

I enjoyed the playfulness of “Thelma and Lousie (not the movie)” by Justine Blank, perhaps because I, myself, am a cat lover. Blank tells the story of how she came to save and raise two polydactyl Tortie cats and the hell they raise. Though, she can’t seem to help but love them anyway. Although, she does end the piece with five warnings should you decide to have a cat, ending with “Never forget that no good deed goes unpunished.”

Lenore Pimental’s nonfiction piece is a heart-warming tale of how encouragement and love can nurture, how it can motivate a person to succeed and surpass society’s expectations. It reminds us all toe “First Sit Up Straight,” for then we are able to focus, grow, and learn.

For poetry, Guest Editor Fleda Brown gives us a section of international poetry from Margo Berdeshevsky, Fleda Brown, Malinda Crispin, Eva Eliav, Mori Glaser, Chellis Glendinning, Lois Elaine Heckman, Venie Holmgren, Jo Milgrom, Lalita Noronha, Katharine O’Flynn, Althea Romeo-Mark, and Barbara A Taylor. Brown says that these poems are “certainly aware of aging — but always from a perspective of intense interest, of a sense of renewal and re-invention.”

As a taste, Lalita Noronha writes

My calculations: Should I live to be, say eighty,
a respectable age in these times,
that month of teaching, a thousandth of my life-span,
flew by before I stopped to count butterflies,
or wrote the last line of this poem.

This issue also contains an interview, a theatre section, art, and a section called “short takes.” It certainly is a venue that displays a wide range of writing from these women, writing that is well worth the read.

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Review Posted on October 15, 2012

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