Larry D. Thomas Vita (2020)

Educational Background:

BA (English literature), University of Houston (1970)

Current Status:

Retired (1998), Harris County Adult Probation Department, Houston, Texas;
Branch Director 1983-1998

1998 to present: full-time poet; appointed in April 2007 by the Texas Legislature
as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

Honorary Listings:

Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers (Poets & Writers, Inc.)

Who’s Who in America

Publications (including honors and awards):

Books (poetry):

The Lighthouse Keeper (Timberline Press, 2001)
Small Press Review “pick-of-the-issue” (May/June 2001)

Amazing Grace (Texas Review Press, 2001)
Winner, 2001
Texas Review Poetry Prize
Winner, 2003 Western Heritage Award
Finalist, 2002 Spur Award (Western Writers of America)

The Woodlanders (Pecan Grove Press, 2002)
Finalist, Pecan Grove Press National Chapbook Competition
2002 Violet Crown Book Awards Special Citation

Where Skulls Speak Wind (Texas Review Press, 2004)
Winner, 2004
Texas Review Poetry Award
Winner, 2004 Violet Crown Book Award
Finalist, 2005 Spur Award (Western Writers of America)

Stark Beauty (Timberline Press, 2005)
Nominee, 2007 Poets’ Prize (Nicholas Roerich Museum)
First Runner-Up, 2006 Western Heritage Award
Finalist, 2006 Spur Award (Western Writers of America)

With the Light of Apricots (published online/Lily Literary Review, 2007)

Eros (published online/Slow Trains Literary Journal, 2007)

The Fraternity of Oblivion (Timberline Press, 2008)

Larry D. Thomas: TCU Texas Poet Laureate Series (TCU Press, 2008)

The Circus (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2008)

Plain Pine (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2009)

The Skin of Light (Dalton Publishing, 2010)

Wolves (El Grito del Lobo Press, 2010)

Five Lavender Minutes of an Afternoon (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2010)

Dark Pearls (LaNana Creek Press, 2010)

A Murder of Crows (Virtual Artists Collective, 2011)

The Red, Candlelit Darkness (El Grito del Lobo Press, 2011)
Finalist, 2012 Spur Award (Western Writers of America)

Far: West Texas (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2011)

Social Networks (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2012)

Uncle Ernest (Virtual Artists Collective, 2013)

Colors (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2013)

The Lobsterman’s Dream: Poems of the Coast of Maine (El Grito del Lobo Press, 2014)

The Goatherd (Mouthfeel Press, 2014)
Winner, 2015 Western Heritage Award

Art Museums (Blue Horse Press, 2014)

As If Light Actually Matters: New & Selected Poems (Texas Review Press, 2015)
Finalist, 2015 Writers' League of Texas Book Awards

Los Días de los Muertos (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2015)

The Circus (expanded print edition of chapbook published in 2008, Blue Horse Press, 2016)

Jake & Violet (e-chapbook/Right Hand Pointing, 2016)

El Padre (e-chapbook, nodding onion, virtual artists collective, 2016)

Bleak Music: Photographs and Poems of the American Southwest (Blue Horse Press, 2016);  Jeffrey C. Alfier, photographer and Larry D. Thomas, poet

Placido (e-chapbook, nodding onion, Virtual Artists Collective, Chicago, 2016)

Pecos (e-chapbook, Right Hand Pointing, 2017)

"The Emperor of Ice-Cream" (e-chapbook, Right Hand Pointing, 2017)

Luz: a demanding, elusive, and indomitable muse (e-chapbook, Right Hand Pointing, 2018)

The Innkeeper (Mouthfeel Press, El Paso, TX, 2018)

Boiling It Down: The Electronic Poetry Chapbooks of Larry D. Thomas (Blue Horse Press, Redondo Beach, CA, 2019)

Ten Ways of Looking at an Earthworm (e-chapbook, Right Hand Pointing, 2019)

In a Field of Cotton: Mississippi River Delta Poems (Blue Horse Press, Redondo Beach, CA, 2019)

Journeying with the Owl, (e-chapbook, Right Hand Pointing, 2020)



Concho River Review

The Huntsville Item (newspaper)

JASAT: Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas

The Texas Review


Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry (Monitor Book Co., 1997)

Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (Dos Gatos Press, 2016)

Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease  (The Kent State University Press, 2009)

The Big Roundup (New West Library, 2001)

descant Fifty Years: The Literary Journal of TCU (TCU Press, 2008)

Down to the Dark River: Contemporary Poems about the Mississippi River (Louisiana Literature Press, 2015)

Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance (Texas Review Press, 2014)

The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology (Lamar University Press, 2015)

In the Yard: A Poetry Anthology (Old Mountain Press, 2006)

Literary Houston (TCU Press, 2010)

Lone Star 2000 (TX Writers Special Issue of descant, 2000)

New Texas (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005)

Open Range: Poetry of the Reimagined West (Ghost Road Press, 2007)

Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems (Lamar University Press, 2015)

A Students’ Treasury of Texas Poetry (TCU Press, 2007)

Texas in Poetry 2 (TCU Press, 2002)

Texas Weather (Lamar University Press, 2016)

Two Southwests (Virtual Artists Collective, 2008)

Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston (Mutabilis Press, 2015)

Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials  (Texas Review Press, 2016)

The Weight of Addition: An Anthology of Texas Poetry (Mutabilis Press, 2007)

Journals and Magazines (selective listing):

Poetry-over 500 poems in such journals and magazines as the following:

Agave Magazine (online)

American Indian Culture and Research Journal

Ampersand Poetry Journal (online)

Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review

Boston Literary Magazine

Brevities: A Mini-Mag of Minimalist Poems


Cape Rock

Cenizo Journal

Chattahoochee Review

Christian Science Monitor

Concho River Review


Cyber Soleil (online)

descant: Fort Worth’s Journal of Poetry and Fiction

Desert Candle

DIN Magazine (online, New Mexico State University)

Green Hills Literary Lantern

Illya’s Honey

International Poetry Review

Iron Horse Literary Review

JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association

Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas

Louisiana Literature

Malpaís Review

Midwest Quarterly

Oklahoma Review (online, Cameron Univesity)

Off the Coast


Poet Lore

Poetry Depth Quarterly

Puerto del Sol

Radiant Turnstile (online)


REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters

Red Booth Review (online)

Red River Review (online)

Red Rock Review


Review Americana (online)

Right Hand Pointing (online)

Rio Grande Review


Rosebud Magazine

Ruminate Magazine

San Pedro River Review

Slow Trains Literary Journal (online)

Small Pond Magazine of Literature

Southwest Review

Southwestern American Literature

Spoon River Poetry Review

Sulphur River Literary Review

Texas Observer

Texas Review

Touchstone Literary Journal

Valparaiso Poetry Review (online)

Webster Review

Whole Notes

Wild Goose Poetry Review (online)


Writers’ Forum

Other Honors:

Eight Pushcart Prize nominations

Two Best of the Net nominations

Houston Area Barnes & Noble Booksellers Author of the Month (June 2002)

2008 Texas Poet Laureate (Term: 19 April 2008 through 18 April 2009)

Ron Stone Foundation Grant ($2,000.00 cash award received in October 2007)

Induction into the Texas Institute of Letters (2009)

Three Spur Award Finalist Citations for Individual Poems

Honorary Lifetime Membership, Permian Basin Chapter, Poetry Society of Texas

Honorary Lifetime Membership, Gulf Coast Poets Chapter, Poetry Society of Texas

Resolution (Commissioners' Court, Harris County, TX) designating August 21, 2007
Larry D. Thomas Day in Harris County, Texas

Proclamation (Mayor's Office, Midland, Texas) designating October 20, 2007
Larry D. Thomas Day in Midland, Texas

Proclamation (Mayor's Office, Houston, Texas) designating January 27, 2009
Larry D. Thomas Day in Houston, Texas

Membership, Texas Institute of Letters, April 2009

Proclamation (Mayor’s Office, Odessa, Texas) designating November 13, 2009
Larry D. Thomas Day in Odessa, Texas

Critical Reviews:

Received positive critical reviews in the following newspapers and journals:

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review

Concho River Review

Cyber Soleil

The Desert-Mountain Times

The Houston Chronicle

Iron Horse Literary Review

Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas (JASAT)

Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel (Augusta, Maine)

Louisiana Literature

The Monitor (McAllen, TX)


Roundup Magazine (Western Writers of America)

The San Antonio Express-News

San Pedro River Review

Sugar House Review

Texas Books in Review

The Texas Review

Valparaiso Poetry Review


Recent Keynote/Featured Speaker Presentations (selective listing):

Angelo State University, Texas (February 2002)

East Central University, Oklahoma (November 2002)

Arkansas Tech University, Arkansas (November 2003)

Del Mar College, Texas (November 2004)

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas (January 2005)

Poetry Society of Texas, Summer Conference, Austin (July 2005)

Langdon Weekend (Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas), Granbury (Sept. 2005)

William Woods University, Missouri (April 2006)

First Friday Poetry Reading Series, Houston (May 2006)

National Federation of State Poetry Societies, San Antonio (June 2006)

Texas A&M University, Southwest Writers & Artists Festival (October 2006)

Blinn College, Texas (Sigma Kappa Delta) (March 2007)

Austin International Poetry Festival, Texas (April 2007)

Langdon Weekend (Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas), Granbury (Sept. 2007)

Univ. of Houston, Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers (Sept. 2007)

Midland College/Permian Basin Poetry Society, Midland (Oct. 2007)

Del Mar College, Texas (November 2007)

Sierra Club, Houston Regional Group (November 2007)

Harris County Historical Society, Houston (December 2007)

Montgomery County Teen Book Festival, The Woodlands, TX (January 2008)

Poetry in the Arts, Austin (February 2008)

River Oaks Rotary Club, Houston (March 2008)

Arlington Public Library/Southwest Branch, Arlington, TX (April 2008)

Tarrant County College (Southeast & Northeast campuses), Texas (April 2008)

Lubbock Arts Festival (April 2008)

Trinity Valley Community College, Texas (April 2008)

Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas (April 2008)

University of Texas at Tyler (April 2008)

Daughters of the Republic of Texas/San Jacinto Chapter (May 2008)

Immaculate Conception School, Rio Grande City, TX (May 2008)

Benbrook Public Library, Benbrook, TX (June 2008)

Poetry Society of Texas, Summer Conference, Houston (July 2008)

Langdon Weekend (Langdon Review of the Arts in TX), several appearances since 2007

Scissortail Creative Writing Festival (2009 through 2016)

Texas Mountain Trail Writers, Alpine, TX (featured presenter in 2011)

Cameron University, OK (featured presenter, October 2014)

South Central Modern Language Association, Poets’ Corner, Vanderbilt University;
Featured with Kate Daniels and Benjamin Myers (October 2015)

Oswald Distinguished Writers’ Series, 2016/2017, Univ. of S. Carolina/Aiken;
Rick Bragg/2016 Feature; Larry D. Thomas/2017 Feature (February 2017)

Readings, Signings and Workshops:

Over 250 appearances in past 10 years at colleges, universities, writers’ conferences and bookstores throughout the Southwest.


Web Site: