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Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare: 2018 Program

A reading and discussion series for Baystate Health employees. This program is supported by Baystate Library & Knowledge Services and the Mass Humanities foundation.

Excerpts from this year's readings:

                    His wife. Forty years he painted her.

                    Again and again. The nude in the last painting

                    the same young nude as the first. His wife.

                    As he remembered her young. As she was young.

                                                          ~ Raymond Carver, Bonnard’s Nudes

I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION of a time when I was not afraid of my father. He was critical of everyone and everything, and especially of his children.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 9, 1906. One night when he was a baby, his father shot himself through the head with a pistol. The boss of 'the printing shop where he worked had fired him that morning for corning in late and hung over. His friends believed it was an accident. They said, "He didn't mean to kill himself. He was just cleaning the gun."

Two years later, Billy, a thin and silent little boy, was walking with his mother, whose name was Daisy, and a gentleman friend of hers on the beach at Coney Island. The man had made Billy a little boat, out of a wooden box, to float around in. They watched the midday sun glisten on tiny waves and seagulls squawk and flap around the barnacled pilings along the fishing pier. Old men squatted on dirty tackle boxes and boys dangled their brown legs, holding out lines, waiting for a catch. Laughter shrieked from the boardwalk behind the beach, and in the distance music from the merry-go-round came and went amid the tumbling roar and screams from what was, in my father's time, the world's biggest roller coaster. That day his mother pushed the boat from the beach, then pushed it again farther out. The man had gone to buy them lemonade. She pushed till Billy started drifting off in the changing tide. Her companion returned, scowling at Daisy, and he quickly took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his pants, and waded out to the box to guide it back to shore. But in the time it took him to get there, my father, who watched his mother on the beach, knew she had tried to kill him. She left home soon after that, and he never heard from her again.

                                                        ~ Lukie Chapman Reilly, My Father

2018 Program: Who Are We?

2018 Program Dates

Tuesdays, 5-7pm at BMC, Chestnut Building, Conference Room 2 :

  • Oct 9
  • Oct 16
  • Oct 23
  • Oct 30
  • Nov 13
  • Nov 27

Registration Form

Continuing Ed Credits

CME and CE credits will be available to those participants that attend the majority of the discussion sessions.

Session 1: What's love got to do with it? (Oct. 9)

His Last Game (Brian Doyle)

Bonnard's Nudes (Raymond Carver)

The Lady with the Little Dog (Anton Chekhov)


* For the full text of each reading, please contact Bridget Gunn (, 413-794-1291.

Session 2: Parents (Oct. 16)

The Leaf Pile (Alicia Ostriker)

The Routine Things Around the House (Stephen Dunn)

My Father (Lukie Chapman Reilly)

Session 3: The outsider (Oct. 23)

Curtains (Ruth Stone)

The Old Man and the Gun (David Grann)

Seele im Raum (Randall Jarrell)

Session 4: Bad boy/good boy, bad girl/good girl (Oct. 30)

To the Lake (Luke Mogelson)

Consider the Slut (Ellen Sussman)

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (Keise Laymon)

Session 5: Seeing straight (Nov. 13)

A Concise History of the World (Ira Sadoff)

Two Hearts (Brian Doyle)

The Chain (Tobias Wolff)

Session 6: The good life (Nov. 27)

The Day Lady Died (Frank O'Hara)

The Journey (Mary Oliver)

A Little Bit of Fun Before he Died (Dagoberto Gilb)

baystate health sciences library 759 Chestnut St., Springfield, MA 01199
tel: 413.794.1865 | fax: 413.794.1974 | contact us