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 4
- Series 2: Journals & Magazines
- Folder 1: Roundup Magazine 10, Special Issue (June 2003); 11, no.1 (October 2003); 11, no.6 (August 2004); and 12, no.5 (June 2005)
- Folder 2: Roundup Magazine 13, no.4 (April 2006); and 13, no.5 (June 2006)
- Folder 3: San Pedro River Review 1, no.1 (Spring 2009)
- Folder 4: Scribe 24, no.4 (October 2004); and 26, no.2 (February 2006)
- Folder 5: The Small Pond Magazine of Literature 35, no.2 (Spring 1998); 37, no.2 (Spring 2000); and 40, no.1 (Winter 2003)
- Folder 6: Southwest Review 67, no.4 (Autumn 1982)
- Folder 7: Southwest Review 87, no.1 (2002); and 89, no.1 (2004)
- Folder 8: Southwestern American Literature 25, no.2 (Spring 2000); 26, no.2 (Spring 2001); 27, no.2 (Spring 2002); and 28, no.2 (Spring 2003)
- Folder 9: Southwestern American Literature 29, no.1 (Fall 2003); 30, no.1 (Fall 2004); 31, no.1 (Fall 2005); and 32, no.1 (Fall 2006)
- Folder 10: Southwestern American Literature 33, no.1 (Fall 2007); and 34, no.1 (Fall 2008)
- Folder 11: Spiky Palm 1, no.1 (September 2004); 2, no.2 (Summer 2005); 3, no.1 (Spring 2006); and 3, no.3 (Fall 2006)
- Folder 12: The Spoon River Poetry 26, no.2 (Summer/Fall 2001)
- Folder 13: Sulphur River Literary Review 7, no.2 (Fall 1991), and 8, no.2 (Fall 1992)
- Folder 14: Sulphur River Literary Review 11, no.1 (Spring 1995); 14, no.2 (Fall 1998); 17, no.2 (Fall 2001); and 20, no.2 (Fall 2004)
- Folder 15: Super Vision (March 1996); (June 2001); (March 2003); (June 2004); and (Fall 2004)
- Folder 16: Texas A & M University Press (Spring/Summer 2002); (Fall/Winter 2004); and (Spring/Summer 2008)
- Folder 17: Texas Books in Review 21, no.4 (Winter 2001); 24, nos.2-3 (Summer/Fall 2004); 26, no.2 (Summer 2006); 27, nos.2-3 (Summer/Fall 2007); 28, nos.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2008); and 28, nos.3-4 (Fall 2008/Winter 2009)
- Folder 18: Texas Longhorn Trails 10, no.3 (June 1998)
- Folder 19: The Texas Observer (November 2003)
- Folder 20: Texas Poetry Calendar (2004)
- Folder 21: Texas Probation 5, no.4 (October 1990); 6, no.1 (January 1991); 6, no.2 (April 1991); 6, no.3 (Summer 1991); 6, no.4 (Fall 1991); and 7, no.1 (Winter 1992)
- Folder 22: Texas Probation 7, no.3 (Summer 1992); 8, no.2 (Summer 1993); 9, no.1 (Winter 1994); 11, no.2 (April 1996); 12, no.1 (January 1997); and 12, no.4 (October 1997)
- Folder 23: The Texas Review 10, nos.3-4 (Fall/Winter 1989); and 12, nos.3-4 (Fall/Winter 1991)
- Folder 24: The Texas Review 14, nos.3-4 (Fall/Winter 1993); and 16, nos.1-4 (1995)
- Folder 25: The Texas Review 18, nos.1-2 (Spring/Summer 1997); and 22, nos.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2001)
- Folder 26: The Texas Review 23, nos.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2002); and 24, nos.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2003)
- Folder 27: The Texas Review 25, nos.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2004); and 25, nos.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2004)
- Folder 28: The Texas Review 26, nos.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2005); and 27, nos.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2006)
- Folder 29: The Texas Review 29, nos.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2008); and 29, nos.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2008)
- Folder 30: Texas Review Press Creative Writing Newsletter 1 (Fall 2003) & 2 (2005)
- Folder 31: Texas Writer 21, no.7 (July 2001); 22, no.4 (April 2002); 22, no.10 (October 2002); and 23, no.4 (April 2003)
- Folder 32: The Texas Writer's Newsletter no.78 (Spring/Summer 2002)
- Folder 33: Touchstone 12, no.2 (Summer 1986)
- Folder 34: UH Alumni Quarterly (Summer 2008)
- Folder 35: The University of Houston Magazine (Fall 2007)
- Folder 36: University of Texas Dental Branch Exchange 4, no.4 (Fall 2007)
- Folder 37: Webster Review 12 (Spring 1987) & 18 (Fall 1994)
- Folder 38: Whole Notes 15, no.2 (Fall 1999)
Browse by Box:
[Media 1: Media Cabinet],