Welcome to the Texas Review and Texas Review Press

The Texas Review- Beginnings

The 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  Press

After 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 Consortium

In 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 Today

Today, 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.


Staff of Texas Review Press:

Director: Dr. Paul Ruffin

Assistant to the Director: Kim Davis

Office Manager: Claude Wooley

Interns: Julian Kindred, Elizabeth Evans, and Catherine Smith


The Editors

Editor-in-Chief: Paul Ruffin, Texas State University System Regents' Professor and Distinguished Professor of English at SHSU, is the founding editor of The Texas Review and founder and director of Texas Review Press. He is the author of two novels, four collections of short fiction, four books of essays, and seven collections of poetry and editor or co-editor of a dozen other books.

Book Review Editor: Joseph D. Haske is a writer and critic whose fiction and essays have appeared in journals such as Fiction International, Southwestern American Literature, Dark Sky, and American Book Review. He is the English Department Chair at South Texas College in McAllen.

Fiction Editor: Eric Miles Williamson's first novel, East Bay Grease, was a PEN/Hemingway finalist, and its sequel, Welcome to Oakland, was named the second-best novel of 2009 and one of the top 40 novels of the decade by The Huffington Post. His novel Two-Up was named one of the top 100 books of 2006 by both The Kansas City Star and The San Jose Mercury News, and his novels have been published in Great Britain, Germany, France, and Finland. He teaches in the English Department at the University of Texas Pan-Am in McAllen.

Nonfiction Editor: Greg Bottoms is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed collections Sentimental, Heartbroken Rednecks: Stories from the New South and Fight Scenes. His essays, memoirs, and stories have appeared in Esquire, Oxford American, Agni, Creative Nonfiction, North American Review, Witness, and elsewhere. He is a Professor of English at the University of Vermont.

Poetry Editor: Nick Lantz is the author of two books of poetry: We Don't Know We Don't Know (Graywolf Press), which won the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize; and The Lightning That Strikes the Neighbors' House (University of Wisconsin Press), which won the Felix Pollak Prize. He teaches in MFA program in creative writing at Sam Houston State University.


Consulting Editors

Rob Adams
Medieval Literature
(Sam Houston State University)

Linda Webster
Southern Literature
(Sam Houston State University)

Ejner Jensen
Renaissance Drama
(University of Michigan)

Ken Roemer
Native American Studies
(University of Texas, Arlington)

Norman Shapiro
Romance Languages and Literature
(Wesleyan University)

Katherine Gillespie
Colonial Literature
(Miami University of Ohio)

Nancy Hargrove
Modern American and British Poetry
(Mississippi State University)

Ernest Suarez
Southern Poetry
(Catholic University)

Rodney Rice
20th Century American Literature
and of the Great Plains

Howard Segal
Science and Technologie
(University of Maine)