The Texas Review- BeginningsThe Texas Review, a biannual literary journal first published in 1976, was founded by Paul Ruffin as The Sam Houston Literary Review.
When The Texas Quarterly folded at the University of Texas in 1979, Ruffin changed the name to The Texas Review.
Today, with a staff of highly qualified editors and an editorial consultation board of established scholars from a number of American universities, The Texas Review enjoys an international reputation, publishing quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and reviews from contributors across the globe.
The Beginnings of Texas Review PressAfter changing the name of the journal to The Texas Review in 1979, Dr. Ruffin discovered a little extra money in the budget and brought out the press’s first book, The Texas Anthology, a paperback collection of Texas poetry and photography. It was received reasonably well, so the press began publishing at least one thin book per year. This led to the long-running poetry chapbook series.
The most cost effective method of producing a short book of poetry was imbedding it in a regular issue of The Texas Review, then having the printer run an extra three hundred copies of the two signatures (32 pages) that the chapbook took up in the journal, finally wrapping them with a separate cover. Voila: Dr. Ruffin was able to publish at least one title each year and sometimes two, introducing chapbooks from poets all over the country for years.
In time, as revenues increased a bit and the dean began enhancing the budget with a line-item allowance, Texas Review Press was able to publish longer books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose, and production increased to two or three books a year.
Joining the TAMU ConsortiumIn the mid-nineties, SMU Press brought out Dr. Ruffin’s first book of stories. They sent him a copy of the Texas A&M University Press Consortium catalog in which his book was featured, and he was most impressed with the setup. At the time the Consortium consisted of SMUP, TCUP, the University of North Texas Press, A&MUP, among others, and a notion crossed his mind: Might they consider taking on Texas Review Press?
When Dr. Ruffin first approached the Consortium, he had only a handful of books to show them, and they turned him down. The next year, 1997, they accepted TRP into the fold.
Texas Review Press TodayToday, thanks to support from the SHSU administration and the marvelous job that the Consortium does in featuring TRP books, the press is publishing between twenty and twenty-three titles a year, including the winners of four international competitions and an annual Southern poetry anthology, making it one of the most productive literary presses in the Southwest.
His Welcome to Oakland we believe will go down as one of the great books in American literature. Two-Up is Williamson's Moby-Dick or Blood Meridian. It is also, arguably, the finest novel written about the American working class. It's stunningly written and not easily forgotten. This is the book that assured his place as one of America's finest writers.
This collection of poems reads like late night juke joint blues. Think Lightnin' Hopkins meets James Wright and you get the idea. It's a late night road trip of the soul. Break out work from a great new poet. This is one to savor and re-read and gain something from each new time.
Clark's poems make you feel that his words are chiseled and not typed. Each line is sharp and perfect, not fat, all muscle. He sings in free and formal verse, over the Oklahoma City bombing and the aftermath of Katrina. He never fails to strike the heart. One of those rare books written by a great writer.
Morton's poetry sings. It sings like Bessie Smith or Aretha belting out the great long notes of the night. Full of lust and love and life, Morton's book surges with being, in that very Whitman sense of the word. It's a great book and deserving of widespread recognition. Fine stuff by a tremendous poet.
Easily one of America's best writers and here at the top of his game. Burgin will astonish you every time. He'll make you think, he'll change your feelings about the power of fiction. Rivers Last Longer was the best book of 2010 without a doubt, a tough and funny look at the clash of two old friends.
Her paraplegia caused by an armed intruder that broke into her apartment, Lawn didn't let her disability stop her. A practicing physician, these poems cover her life as a doctor and as a patient. There's too much about this book to describe here. Let us say that it is remarkable and deep in ways we're still discovering. One we'll keep coming back to for a very long time.
Shivani has long been the Socratic gadfly over at the Huffington Post. This, his debut collection of criticism and essays, will make you change how you read literature. Funny, sharp, passionate, highly opinionated, Shivani's book is absolutely essential for anyone who reads and loves books.
His most eclectic and revealing collection, Parsons takes us from the rollicking sixties to the open plains of present day Montana. He's also one of the few veteran poets to tackle war. He packs enough thinking and feeling in this volume to cover a lifetime. Thankfully for us, he's got much to come. A wonderful book by one of our best.
You recognize Polk's name from being the person who set the now-definitive versions of Faulkner's works. Here, Polk concentrates on a trip he took to Zambia and uses the poems to unravel man's relation to history, nature, solitude, the great spaces. A stunning book filled with great passion and love. One of the best poetry books of 2011.
Witness to 189 executions in Texas, Reid's memoir is our finest plea for the abolition of capital punishment. This is a profound book, deeply moving, that will make you rethink your politics, make you change your view of humanity. Certainly one of the most important books in recent years.
We looked forward to this book coming out like very few novels can draw us. Williams fiction graces our best literary magazines and he had been teasing us with his stories for years while working on this masterpiece of a road novel. A visionary novel, stark and as expansive as the road itself. Not to be missed.
The comparisons to Faulkner and Wendell Berry are perfect. Weber's short stories read like they've been carved out of stone, all of them set in West Virginia. They're as beautiful as they are poignant. And in economic times like ours, with her stories tackling struggle and redemption, they couldn't come at a better time.