Picking Persimmons: Encounters with Midwestern Men

“When you get to the tree,” my father says, “Shine the flashlight up in the branches. Pick the ripe persimmons. Pick them all. Don’t let any go to waste.” And then, “Try one. The persimmons are so sweet they are turning to sugar on the tree.” 

I don’t know if I even like persimmons.

I don’t believe I’ve ever tried one. — “Picking Persimmons”

IMG-4136Neither creative nonfiction nor collaboration are new to me, but Picking Persimmons: Encounters with Midwestern Men, a project with poet Becky Miller, is stretching me in new ways.

Sparked by a shared experience while visiting my parents’ home, Picking Persimmons quickly moved from a “You should write about that” conversation into a “We both need to write about this” commitment.

Our objective? To give honest examination to encounters–both lifelong and fleeting–with Midwestern men.

Selections from Picking Persimmons have been presented at the symposium for The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, and our complementary pieces “Leaving Farm” and Becky’s poem “Leaving Farm: The Vow” will be published in the upcoming volume of The Offbeat

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