New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems

New and Selected Poems


A mature poet, Larry Thomas has an extraordinary gift which has evolved through decades at his craft. Thomas explores the natural world of Texas--its animal icons like the Hereford or hawk or rattlesnake, the larger-than-life geography, which is the stuff out of which legends are made.

Thomas captures the spirit of place within larger truths that "travel well," as editor Billy Bob Hill explains in his introduction. Hill also takes careful note of the poet's deft alliteration and just-right compression of language as he urges readers to enjoy Thomas' poems for their Texas elements but also the worldly art therein.


Larry D. Thomas of Houston is a fine choice for Texas Poet Laureate, in part, because of the excellence of his body of work. A mature poet, he has an extraordinary gift, which has evolved through decades at his craft.

He also makes an appropriate poet laureate because his pieces are often set in our state. From the natural world, readers find Herefords, cicadas, hawks, and a den or two of rattlesnakes. Indeed, rattlers rank high in Larry Thomas’s poetic pantheon.

And geography is certainly there: the Davis Mountains, Palo Duro Canyon, the Trans-Pecos, the Neches River, and the Gulf Coast, to name five places of legend. Furthermore, one encounters familiar sensibilities in pieces where no specific reference exists. Even these sure seem Texas.

I should add that this collection also includes such non-Lone Star concepts as Michelangelo, Beethoven, Georgia O’Keeffe (okay, so O’Keeffe briefly lived in the Panhandle), and Picasso.

Although Larry Thomas must know his way around our heartland and borders, he articulates something for readers everywhere. He goes far beyond a local colorist or chamber of commerce propagandist.

His work hardly parallels the mindset of these wonderfully wrong-headed lines found in the old poem / song, “Beautiful Texas,” by lyricist and politician, W. Lee O’Daniel:

You have all read the beautiful story
Of countries far over the sea,
From whence came our ancestors
To establish this home of the free.
There are some people who still like to travel

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