Featured Writer: Lloyd Shaw


Recently, PGCC student Jerry Julius sat down with retiring English Professor Lloyd Shaw to talk with the man PGCC President Williams calls "our resident poet."


Fortunately for countless students who have passed through his classroom, Lloyd Shaw decided in his senior year of college that he wanted to become a teacher.  He studied journalism and biology, particularly birds.  But his interest in poetry lured him away from the siren song of science.  Lloyd has been teaching in the English Department of PGCC since 1969.  An avid reader and reviewer of books, Lloyd counts F. Scott Fitzgerald's American classic The Great Gatsby and Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse among his favorite books.  He also admires Ernest Hemingway's "direct style" and as a native of the south, he can intimately appreciate William Faulkner's portrayals of the southern way of life.


Despite an affinity for American fiction, Lloyd loves to read, teach, and write poetry and credits Shakespeare as "the greatest writer of all time...for his contribution to language and literature."  He adds that "many of the common phrases used today come from his works" and "we use them without even realizing their origin; it is as if they have always been with us from the time we learned to speak."


Some might say that of Lloyd as well: it feels as if he has always been here.  As he prepares for the next phase of his life beyond the classroom, Lloyd feels good about the direction of PGCC and the English Department in particular.  He is impressed by the new generation of faculty on campus and the growth of students he has seen during his tenure. Confident about the future of the college, Lloyd looks to his own future in North Carolina where much of his family awaits him.  In addition to indulging his life-long curiosity about the Civil War, he plans to remain active, possibly volunteering in the academic field.  But his primary goal is to continue to write.  Lloyd plans to write his "family stories" for future generations.  This gift of stories will be an enduring legacy to Lloyd's creative ability.  We have been blessed to have witnessed that ability as well, and the legacy that Lloyd Shaw, poet, teacher, scholar, colleague, and friend, leaves with us here at PGCC will not soon be forgotten.