Current Member News

Joanne Dearcopp, in her continuing efforts to re-introduce Sanora Babb to a contemporary reading audience, led a discussion of Babb’s An Owl on Every Post at the Perrot Memorial Library on May 8. The title of the “sold out” library event was “Rediscovering American Women Writers of the 20th Century.” Joanne’s talk was the second in a series of book discussions facilitated by GPW letters members for the Perrot Library. The next will be on Monday, September 11, when Sarah Darer Littman facilitates a discussion of The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance, by Edmund de Waal, at the library at 7:00 p.m.

A full house for Joanne Dearcopp’s book discussion;
GPW members turn out to hear Joanne lead the book discussion

Julie Dolphin sends a link to a concert she did on May 3 as part of the Bedford Chamber Series, led by Anthony Newman. This is the first half of the concert, and features the world premiere of his setting of Psalm 27.

Barbara Ehrentreu shares news that both her short film screenplay, "The Kiss" and her poem "My Thoughts Turn To You" are official selections for the Action on Film festival, 2017. Barbara sends thanks to the GPW letters group for the help they gave her.

Anita Keire’s book launch for her new book, Walking on Water: Skeptics and Believers Discuss Whether Jesus Matters, was hosted by Mirerlla Hajjar on May 11. Anita’s book is available on Amazon or by contacting Anita directly at

GPW members at Anita’s book launch

Kay Langan’s poem, “Meditation on a Mosquito” was selected as Poem of the Week on the NLAPW website, May 17. If you haven’t already read kay’s witty and charming poem, read it here:





Laurie Heiss, a new Letters member, is a native of Chicago who graduated from Connecticut College with majors in Field Biology and Anthropology. She still has a passion for both disciplines and has maintained ties with CC over many years, writing class notes in multiple decades and organizing connective alumni events.

Professionally, her expertise was in advising manufacturers on improving throughput while decreasing inventory and expenses. She worked with hundreds of manufacturers while at IBM, then Creative Output, and eventually on the corporate staff at General Electric, where she branched out into sales and marketing roles during a twelve-year GE career. At Creative Output, she helped edit a wildly popular business novel, The Goal, about her client at Ford Motor Co., penned by an Israeli physicist, the fiery chairman of this small software/consulting firm. At GE, Laurie co-authored an award-winning business text about selling electronic commerce services, on the cusp of the Internet explosion. After GE, she consulted to numerous firms, and edited Beyond ‘e’ for Stephen Diorio/IMT Strategies about technological transformation of sales and marketing.

In 2003, Laurie became Executive Director of the Merritt Parkway Conservancy and produced a new parkway guide. Collaborating with designer Nigel Holmes, the guide has been printed in the thousands. Among many other events, Laurie, with light designers, the Department of Transportation, and Newman Architects, lit the facades of three Merritt Parkway bridges, “spotlighting” historic monumental architecture.

From one of Laurie’s book talks

Additionally, Laurie started a museum in Stratford about the parkway with a board member. Eventually, she moved to a board position. History Press/Arcadia Publishing approached the subsequent director about writing a history of the Merritt Parkway. Together, Laurie and co-author Jill Smyth, outlined, contracted, researched and wrote a history of  “the road that shaped a region” in ten months with minimal sleep. Finished and fatigued, they had not counted on the dozens and dozens of book talks that would follow their book launch in November 2014.

Over the years, Laurie has also written numerous grants in the areas of conservation, preservation, and education—both as an in-kind donation and for pay—for numerous non-profits. Between being the co-president of the PTAs at Julian Curtiss and Greenwich High School, she chaired the public/private team of Arts-in-Ed representatives, booking all arts-related events within Greenwich.  This sub-committee of the PTA Council was a model of cooperation and arts programming excellence for all elementary and middle schools in town. Laurie also managed the associated Fairfield County arts enrichment organization.

Most importantly, Laurie is a weekend farmer, land conservationist, and preservationist. She is a leader of the Redding Land Trust and the Fairfield County Preservation Network.  She owns a wet meadow marsh and historic farmstead in Redding, CT, where she and her husband have raised chickens, guinea fowl, ducks, rabbits, sheep, a horse, and one son over the last 25 years. In doing so she has fought off hawks, foxes, coyotes, fishers (marten), raccoons, and one notable mountain lion. Laurie is endlessly painting, but with colorful latex, the nine structures on this property surrounded by open space and protected with a conservation easement. She continues to write chapters of her Stories from the Farm and is also working on a more complicated novel.

Laurie can reached at:

Laurie Heiss