'Enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy.' fits both the life and works of Laurence W. Thomas, educator, lecturer, writer, and traveler. After wetting his feet in the ponds of high school and college teaching in the States, he crossed deeper waters to teach in Uganda, Costa Rica, and Saudi Arabia.
From 1986, when his first volume of poetry, Pursuits, appeared, to the present, Thomas has published poetry, essays, fiction, and creative nonfiction. His books include Songs Sacred and Profane, The Face in the Mirror ,Three Autobiographies, and If Somebody Laughs It Must Be Funny.
Other poetry, fiction, and essays have been published in Blue Unicorn, The Stake, The Antioch Review, Peninsula Poets, The Old-Millpond Anthology, Birder's World, SYNAESTHETIC, The Bridge, The Huron Review and others.
For twelve years, Thomas has lectured and conducted workshops at The Lucidity Poets' Retreat in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. He also leads a poetry critiquing workshop at the Ann Arbor, Michigan, Barnes & Noble, teaches creative writing at Washtenaw Community College, and is active in the Poetry Society of Michigan.
The enjoyment Thomas derives from whatever he does is reflected in his meeting the challenges of all types of writing--poetry that includes all types from the formal to free verse to the prose poem, fiction ranging from the dark side to breezy humor, and creative nonfiction: factual accounts laced with imaginative leaps to unexpected associations and conclusions. His subjects cover lyrical nature poetry, philosophy, love, religion, protest, and avant-garde experimentation. His stories reflect the troubles as well and the inanities of the world.
Half of Thomas' Songs Sacred and Profane covers the times of the day and the year in light, lyric form. The other half presents the poet's views and skills, covering a wide range of forms and styles.
One part of Three Autobiographies covers the author's take on his life in Saudi Arabia presented as creative nonfiction. Another section of the book creates the character, Robert Spencer Anderson, a roughly autobiographical depiction, highly spiced. "The Autobiography of Larry W. Larry" that makes up the rest of the book presents two boys, living and dead, during the developmental stages of their life.
Thomas and his friend, Judith Jacobs, an Ann Arbor, Michigan, artist, joined creative forces to produce The Face in the Mirror, a collection of poems with accompanying black and white collages. An artistic triangle is formed when these two are joined by frequent allusions to such artists as Cristo, El Greco, Ben Shahn, Edward Munch, and Sir Francis Bacon.
The humor of the book If Somebody Laughs It Must Be Funny begins with its format: half the book is printed upside-down, creating two books in one. The collection of sketches, stories, and poetry is off beat, sometimes ribald, sometimes sinister, all aimed at bringing a smile if not a belly laugh or two.