Winner of the 2003 Western Heritage Award for best book of poetry
The 2001 Texas Review Poetry Prize
Larry D. Thomas retired from a career in adult criminal justice with the Harris County, Texas, Community Supervision and Corrections Department in 1998. Book-length manuscripts of Thomas's poetry were selected as finalists in the 1993 and 1997 Southern and Southwestern Poets Breakthrough Series competitions sponsored by Texas Review Press and the Summer 2000 Pecan Grove Press national chapbook competition.
"Larry Thomas's ample menagerie—rattlesnakes, mockingbirds, turkey vultures—transports me to his risky, abundant earth. There, grandmother, wife, and daughter celebrate and grieve and endure the daily. He shows little girls at the zoo outside a cage of white tigers; cowhands and bikers; lovers bathing waist-deep in the Gulf, as if splashing themselves 'with heaven.' Larry himself is like the woodcarver in one of my favorite poems, carving 'gulls, skimmers, pelicans,' setting them free 'with the blade / of his pocketknife.' He writes 'Of Beasts Become Angels,' 'Of Eyes Wondrously Wild,' 'Of Crows and Cornfields,' and 'Amazing Grace'—and I believe." --Walt McDonald, 2001 Texas Poet Laureate
"Larry Thomas's poems sing out praise, sorrow and the sheer human relief of survival. The rhythms of Amazing Grace transpose from blues to gospel with a riff of rockabilly. You'll be glad to listen.” --Kathleene West, Poetry Editor, Puerto del Sol
When Don Reid published Eyewitness in 1973, the chronicle of his conversion from a supporter of the death penalty to an ardent opponent, the book was an immediate sensation. Perhaps never before in the history of the American penal system has a man witnessed more electrocutions than Reid, who as Associated Press and Huntsville Item representative watched 189 men die in 'Old Sparky,' as the electric chair in the Texas Department of Corrections' death chamber was not so affectionately called. This book is a powerful personal account of Reid's conversations with many of the very men he later watched receive the eighteen hundred volts of electricity from generators reserved for electrocutions and his later, almost evangelical efforts to defend the men on Death Row from a similar fate.
Sam, a reclusive underachiever with a long track record of failed marriages and aspirations, must face, in one short spurt of time, the imminent prospects of middle age, professional outplacement, and unwanted responsibilities toward both his father and his son, two men whom he has spent long and careful effort to distance himself from.
A Place Apart is at once witty and wry and beautiful, filled with vivid description and sharp dialogue. It hits solidly on dilemmas faced daily by many people in many places by telling a compelling story of one man in one place. It is a finely honed novel that will continue to sing a haunting, recognizable song long after the reader has finished the last page.