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Professors by Day, Authors by Night: Three Humanities’ Professors Releasing Books

Pat Kenney
Campus News Editor


What do basketball, poetry and motherhood have in common? Nothing, and that’s the beauty of it.

Having authors in the Humanities Department of Springfield College is not rare at all. However, three books in one calendar year is a pretty impressive feat for any department.

Professors Margaret Lloyd, Justine Dymond and Dennis Gildea are no strangers to the world of literature, as they have each produced a plethora of publications. But it is the fact that they all have (or had) release dates in the same year, 2013, that makes their latest publications so unique.

Despite that similarity, the topics of these three books could not be any more varied.  The books are a great example of the diversity of passions within the Humanities Department.

“All of the books that we have written show how diverse we all are as people and as a department,” stated Magaret Lloyd, the chair of the Humanities department.

Lloyd, who has taught English at Springfield College since 1987, has been a poet for most of her life, but in the last couple of years she has infused a new passion with her love of poetry.

“I became a watercolor painter about six years ago,” stated Lloyd. “I never thought I could paint, but I became obsessed with it and now I love it. All art, whether it is a poem or painting, creates something that [didn’t] exist and [brings] it [to life].”

Focusing more on landscapes, Lloyd’s watercolor paintings are composed of a water-soluble pigment with an emphasis on light.

“When you paint in water colors, you deal a lot with light,” said Lloyd. “I thought ‘Forged Light’ would be a good title for my book because it reflects the process of making a poem or painting, where you are searching for that answer or epiphany.”

“Forged Light,” which contains five of her watercolor paintings, is a book, split into five separate sections of poems, ranging from tales of mythological figures, to Lloyd’s life of being a Welsh immigrant, to the death of her mother.

Touching on various aspects of her life, Lloyd explores  mystery and what makes life sacred. Being her third book of poetry, Lloyd wanted to explore aspects of her life to understand them better and write about things she did not know the answer to.

“When you’re a scholar, you are always looking to fill the gaps,” stated professor Justine Dymond, who joined the Springfield Humanities team in 2008.

Like Lloyd, Dymond has been writing poetry and short stories for a sizable portion of her life. However, Dymond’s new book, which was published on July 14, focuses on memoirs instead of poetry and short stories.

A memoir is an autobiography or a written account of one’s memory of certain events or people, and is a rapidly growing genre in the world of literature and publication.

“Motherhood Memoirs: Mothers Creating/Writing Lives,” pieced together by Dymond and Nicole Willey, a professor at Kent State University, explores the experience of motherhood. With the first two chapters by Dymond and Willey, the book is mainly composed of memoirs from 10 other contributors.

Dymond and Willey decided to reach out to the public and gather stories about real-life motherhood to help build their book.

“The range of memoirs we received was tremendous,” stated Dymond. “The book covers a wide range of topics, but a lot of what we received never made it into the final edit.”

With sections that cover everything from the loss of a child to being a lesbian mother, “Motherhood Memoirs: Mothers Creating/Writing Lives” covers a vast amount of terrain.

“No matter what your interest is, there is something in [the book] for you,” said Dymond. “It covers many fields from the medical side of motherhood to literature. It reaches a wide audience.”

The third book covers another aspect of society that touches and affects most of us, especially at Springfield College. That topic is sports, and more specifically, basketball.

Known as the Birthplace of Basketball, Springfield College and the City of Springfield have a rich history in one of America’s most popular sports. But there is one name that many so-called ‘basketball fans’ have never heard of.

Known as the “innovator,” he incorporated the 1-3-1 zone defense and the three-second rule into basketball; in fact, there is an award in his honor. This man’s name is Clair Francis Bee.

Aside from his basketball contributions, Bee wrote a series of 24 sports novels centered around a character by the name of Chip Hilton. The Chip Hilton book series sold over two million copies, and in 1997, the NCAA founded the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award.

“I grew up reading the Chip Hilton books,” stated professor Dennis Gildea. “I have always been fascinated by point-shaving scandals in college basketball.”

Toward the end of the 1951 season, some of Bee’s players at Long Island University were implicated in the CCNY Points-Shaving Scandal, ultimately shutting down the basketball program and ending Bee’s college career.

“Hoop Crazy: The Lives of Clair Bee and Chip Hilton,”  written by Gildea, focuses in on the life and career of Clair Bee, including the scandal of 1951, and the coach’s career as an author.

“The books he wrote after the scandal were quite a bit different than the books he wrote before,” stated Gildea, who has taught Communications at Springfield since 1994. “In earlier books, Chip Hilton is desperate to get a college scholarship, while in the later [books], Chip Hilton turns down scholarships as Bee exposes evils he sees within college sports.”

“Hoop Crazy: The Lives of Clair Bee and Chip Hilton” will be released November 1, while “Forged Light” will be launched on November 7 in Northampton, where Lloyd will be doing a reading and book signing.

“Motherhood Memoirs: Mothers Creating/Writing Lives” was released on July 14, but copies can be found in the library and the bookstore. There will also be a reading and book signing with Dymond and one of her memoir writers, Yelizaveta Renfro, on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., in the Odyssey Bookshop located in South Hadley.

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