Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice



February 14, 2020

Leslie Halpern died suddenly on Dec. 19, 2019. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Rollins College Masters of Liberal Studies program, she was an author, journalist, teacher, and poet. She wrote for The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, Orlando Sentinel, served on the staff of the Heritage Florida Jewish News and more. Her books include “Reel Romance: The Lovers’ Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies” and “Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle Between Art and Science.” In addition she wrote a “Silly Childrens’ Poem” series. Her latest book, “Poodles & Doodles, Poems about Dogs” told of her travails raising her newly adopted puppy, Snickerdoodle.

Ms. Halpern won numerous awards for her writing from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the Editor’s Award for Poetry from the Gwendolyn Brooks Writer’s Association of Florida, but her greatest award was her son, Alexander, of whom she was extremely proud. Ms. Halpern was a member of Florida Writers Association and served as president of Orlando Area Poets and secretary of Florida State Poets Association.

“Leslie Halpern was one of us,” said Al Rocheleau, president of Florida State Poets Association. “She was first well-known as a prose writer in Florida, a writer of stories, memoirs, travelogues, reviews of the arts, especially of film, and also of works for children. All these genres in which she was expert somehow left enough threads of gold rime for ventures into the ‘undiscovered country’ of poetry,” he said.

“Leslie was deeply thoughtful, poignant at times, funny, yet always a person of order and decorum,” Rocheleau said. “Leslie Halpern was competent at anything she did,” he continued: “I can say that Leslie loved her son, and was hopeful for his future, as well as for her own. I think she was hopeful for all of us.”


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