Larry D. Thomas, 1970-2009 | East Texas Research Center
By Rachel Galan & Kyle Ainsworth, 2011
Extent: 10.5 Linear Feet
The Larry D. Thomas Collection consists of ten distinct series created by the author:
1) Books and Chapbooks: Thomas's 11 published books and chapbooks.
2) Journals & Magazines: Scholarly publications by Thomas, and magazine advertisements, articles and reviews about or that mention Thomas.
3) Poems: Poems (handwritten and typed) written by Larry D. Thomas, often showing editing and revision.
4) Internet Publications: Works Thomas published on the Internet.
5) Newspapers & Newsletters: Advertisements, announcements and articles about Thomas, as well as copies of poems featured in the various publications.
6) Correspondence: Letters and emails to and from publishers, editors, writers, fans, friends, and organizations.
7) Public Appearances: Materials regarding presentations, speaking engagements, poetry readings and events honoring Thomas.
8) Miscellaneous Items: Back-cover endorsements, book contracts, blog posts, greeting cards, and other documents.
9) Other Indexes: Subject indexes compiled by the author to cross-reference materials distributed throughout the collection.
10) Recorded Readings-Interviews: DVD, CD and VHS copies of Thomas readings and interviews.
Forms of Material: Correspondence
Larry D. Thomas, the third of four sons born to Edith Thomas and Roy Thomas, was born in 1947 in the small west Texas town of Haskell. At the time of Larry’s birth, his mother was a housewife and his father owned and operated a Mobil service station. Both of his parents had to leave school in the tenth grade to work in the cotton fields, and they worked as sharecroppers in the early years of their marriage until Roy obtained employment at the service station which he eventually purchased before Larry’s birth. When Larry was three years old, the family moved to Midland, Texas, where Roy owned and operated another Mobil service station and Larry attended public schools through the eighth grade. In 1961 the family moved to Brownwood, Texas, where Roy owned and operated a Fina service station and Larry attended Brownwood High School, graduating in 1965 as a member of the National Honor Society.
After graduation from high school, Larry attended Howard Payne University in Brownwood on a full-time basis for two years, supporting himself by working afternoons, evenings and weekends as a district circulation manager for The Brownwood Bulletin newspaper. He transferred to the University of Houston in 1967, attending night classes on a full-time basis until he graduated in 1970 with a B. A. degree in English literature. While attending the University of Houston, he supported himself through his full-time employment as a district caseworker for the Harris County Social Services Department.
Larry completed a four-year tour of duty in the U. S. Navy shortly after receiving his bachelor’s degree, serving as a correctional counselor in the Navy Correctional Center, Norfolk, Virginia. During his naval service, Larry started writing poetry consistently on weekends, a disciplined practice he would maintain throughout his twenty-three year, post-naval career in the adult probation field. By the time he retired as a branch director of the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (in Houston) in 1998, Larry had published a large number of poems in numerous national literary journals to many of which he had earned the distinction of being a regular contributor.
In January 2001, Larry brought out his first collection of poetry, The Lighthouse Keeper, with Timberline Press (Fulton, MO), a handset letterpress edition illustrated with original linocuts and a serigraph. The volume was selected by the Small Press Review as a “pick of the issue” (May/June 2001) and quickly sold out two printings. Larry’s major breakthrough as a poet occurred during the same year when he was awarded the 2001 Texas Review Poetry Prize for Amazing Grace, a book-length collection which also won the 2003 Western Heritage Award (a top national award for a book of poems celebrating the historical or contemporary American West) and a Spur Award finalist citation. His subsequent volumes of verse received several significant prizes and awards, including the 2004 Texas Review Poetry Prize and 2004 Violet Crown Award (both won by Where Skulls Speak Wind, Texas Review Press 2004); three Pushcart Prize nominations; three additional Spur Award finalist citations; and a Poets’ Prize nomination (West Chester University). In April 2007, Larry was appointed by the Texas Legislature as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. He was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in April 2009. Among the prominent writers who have praised Larry’s poetry are Walter McDonald, Robert Phillips, Cyrus Cassells, Paul Ruffin, Paul Christensen, James Hoggard, Carol Coffee Reposa, Jan Epton Seale and Wendy Barker.
Larry is married to Lisa Thomas, D.D.S., a faculty member of the University of Texas Dental Branch, and has one child, Deena, who has enjoyed a successful career in banking.
Publications: The Lighthouse Keeper (poems), Timberline Press 2001; Amazing Grace (poems), Texas Review Press 2001; The Woodlanders (poems), Pecan Grove Press 2002; Where Skulls Speak Wind (poems), Texas Review Press 2004; Stark Beauty (poems), Timberline Press 2005; With the Light of Apricots (poems), Lily Press 2007 (online); Eros (poems), Slow Trains Literary Journal 2007 (online); The Fraternity of Oblivion (poems), Timberline Press 2008; New and Selected Poems, TCU Press 2008; The Circus (poems), Right Hand Pointing 2008 (online); Plain Pine (poems), Right Hand Pointing 2010 (online).
(Biographical Sketch was provided by Larry Thomas in 2010.)
Browse by Box:
[Media 1: Media Cabinet],
- Box 1
- Series 1: Books & Chapbooks
- Folder 1: INDEX
- Folder 2: The Lighthouse Keeper (2001)
- Folder 3: Amazing Grace (2001)
- Folder 4: The Woodlanders (2002)
- Folder 5: Where Skulls Speak Wind (2004)
- Folder 6: Stark Beauty (2005)
- Folder 7: With the Light of Apricots (2007)
- Folder 8: The Fraternity of Oblivion (2008)
- Folder 9: Poet Laureate (2008)
- Folder 10: Eros
- Folder 11: The Circus
- Series 2: Journals & Magazines
- Folder 12: INDEX
- Folder 13: Alzheimer's Association (Winter 2008)
- Folder 14: American Indian Culture and Research Journal 24, no.2 (2000)
- Folder 15: American Indian Culture and Research Journal 24, no.4 (2000)
- Folder 16: American Indian Culture and Research Journal 26, no.2 (2002)
- Folder 17: Angel Face, no.1 (Spring 2005)
- Folder 18: Ardent 1, no. 1 (April 2006)
- Folder 19: Arts Houston 4, no. 1 (January 2003)
- Folder 20: Black Bear Review 30 (Spring/Summer 2000); 31 (Fall/Winter 2000); 32 (Spring/Summer 2002); 33 (Fall/Winter 2001); and 35 (Fall/Winter 2002)
- Folder 21: Blue Violin: A Journal of Free Verse Poetry 5 (July 1999); and 7 (2001)
- Folder 22: Border Senses 15 (Summer 2009)
- Folder 23: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review 8 (Spring/Summer 1996); and 11 (Spring/Summer 1998)
- Folder 24: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review 12 (Fall/Winter 1998); and 14 (Spring/Summer 2000)
- Folder 25: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review 15 (Fall/Winter 2000); and 17 (Fall/Winter 2001)
- Folder 26: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review 20 (Spring/Summer 2003); and 22 (Spring/Summer 2004)
- Folder 27: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review 25 (Fall/Winter 2005); and 26 (Spring/Summer 2006)
- Folder 28: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review 27 (Fall/Winter 2006); and 30 (Spring/Summer 2008)
- Folder 29: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review 31 (Fall/Winter 2008); and 32 (Spring/Summer 2009)
- Folder 30: Brevities: A Mini-Mag of Minimalist Poems 3 (May 2003); 7 (September 2003); and 9 (November 2003)
- Folder 31: The Cape Rock 22, no.1 (Spring 1987); 24, no.2 (Fall 1989); 26, no.2 (Fall 1991); 30, no.1 (Spring 1995); 32, no.1 (Spring 1997); and 34, no.1 (Fall 2001)
- Folder 32: The Chattahoochee Review: The DeKalb College Literary Quarterly 13, no.2 (Winter 1993)
- Folder 33: The Chattahoochee Review: The Literary Quarterly of Georgia Perimeter College 21, no.2 (Winter 2001)
- Folder 34: Concho River Review 5, no.2 (Fall 1991); and 6, no.2 (Fall 1992)
- Folder 35: Concho River Review 7, no.2 (Fall 1993); and 8, no.2 (Fall 1994)
- Folder 36: Concho River Review 9, no.2 (Fall 1995); and 10, no.2 (Fall 1996)
- Folder 37: Concho River Review 11, no.2 (Fall 1997); and 12, no.2 (Fall 1998)
- Folder 38: Concho River Review 13, no.1 (Spring 1999); and 13, no.2 (Fall 1999)
- Folder 39: Concho River Review 14, no.2 (Fall 2000); and 15, no.1 (Spring 2001)
- Folder 40: Concho River Review 16, no.2 (Fall 2002); and 18, no.2 (Fall 2003)
- Folder 41: Concho River Review 18, no.2 (Fall 2004); and 19, no.2 (Fall 2005)
- Folder 42: Concho River Review 20, no.1 (Spring 2006); and 20, no.2 (Fall 2006)
- Folder 43: Concho River Review 21, no.1 (Spring 2007); and 21, no.2 (Fall 2007)
- Folder 44: Concho River Review 22, no.1 (Spring 2008); and 22, no.2 (Fall 2008)
- Folder 45: Connections: Texas County & District Retirement System (Fall 2004); and (Spring 2007)
- Folder 46: Cottonwood 56 (Fall 2000)
Browse by Box:
[Media 1: Media Cabinet],