In 1998, Larry D. Thomas retired from a career in social service and adult criminal justice, and has since that time devoted full time to his poetry.  Prior to his retirement in 1998, he maintained a disciplined practice of writing poems on weekends for over twenty years, and was successful in publishing his work in numerous respected national literary journals, to many of which he earned the distinction of being a regular contributor.  Among the journals his poems appeared in were the Southwest Review, Poet Lore, The Cape Rock, The Small Pond Magazine of Literature, The Chattahoochee Review, Writers‘ Forum, Louisiana Literature, Puerto del Sol, The Texas Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and Southwestern American Literature.

Timberline Press (Fulton, MO) brought out his first collection of poetry, The Lighthouse Keeper, in early 2001 in a handset letterpress edition. The volume was selected by the Small Press Review as a “Pick of the Issue,” and quickly sold out two printings. He has published ten full-length collections of poems, several of which have received distinguished prizes and awards, including two Texas Review Poetry Prizes (2001 and 2004), the 2003 and 2015 Western Heritage Awards (National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum), and the 2004 Violet Crown Book Award (Writers’ League of Texas). Additionally, his poetry was nominated for the 2007 Poets’ Prize (Nicholas Roerich Museum/West Chester University), and has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net Anthology, and Spur Award (Western Writers of America).

The Texas Legislature, in April, 2007, appointed Larry D. Thomas as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate.  In April, 2009, he was inducted into the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters.     

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