Welcome to the site of Paul Ruffin
Texas State University System Regents' Professor
Distinguished Professor of English, SHSU
2009 Texas State Poet Laureate
Editor, The Texas Review
Director, Texas Review Press
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Paul Ruffin was born in the hamlet of Millport, Alabama, and grew up on Sand Road,
five miles outside Columbus, Mississippi, son of a toilet-
After a stint in the Army, Ruffin enrolled at Mississippi State University with his eye on earning a degree in Electrical Engineering. While attending M.S.U., he worked at Parker Furniture Store in Columbus for several years. During that time he married Jackie Wilkinson, with whom he had a son, Scott.
While pursuing his bachelor’s degree, he fell under the spell of an American Literature professor and Chair of the English Department, Dr. Robert Holland, who talked him into switching his major to English. This he did, and he walked away with a B.S., which he put to use teaching English at Hamilton High, north of Columbus, and then at Lee High and Caldwell High in Columbus. During this period he earned his M.A. in English at M.S.U.
After two summer trips to Europe, during which he took post-
After his divorce came through, he married a former U.S.M student of his, Sharon
Krebs, and they moved to Columbus, where Ruffin taught at a year at M.S.U. before
accepting a position at Sam Houston State University, where he has taught since.
He is the founding editor and Editor-
Along the way, he and Sharon had two wonderful children: Genevieve, who lives with her husband Max in Germany, and Matthew, who is living with his mom in Gautier, MS.
After he and Sharon divorced in 2006, Ruffin moved to Montgomery County, just outside Willis, where he enjoys a relaxed life with his dog, truck, and John Deere 2305.
In recent years he has been honored with the titles of Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of English, and this year the legislature selected him as 2009 Texas State Poet Laureate.
During his extensive writing career Paul Ruffin has published nearly 800 poems, 100+
stories, and over fifty familiar essays in magazines and journals in this country
and abroad, and his work has appeared in numerous anthologies and textbooks. (See
a selective listing on his vita.) In addition, he has written numerous reviews and
feature articles and published more than a thousand column pieces in newspapers.
He currently writes a week column, Ruffin-
His books include two novels, three collections of short stories, two books of essays,
six collections of poetry, and eleven edited or co-
His fiction and poetry have won several awards, including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award for Circling, and his poetry has been praised by such luminaries as James Dickey and Willie Morris.
Currently Ruffin is putting together a collection of essays titled Travels with George
in Search of Ben Hur for consideration by University of South Carolina Press, and
he is working on a collection of his dramatic poems and a three-
|Books and Chapbooks|
|Here's to Noah, Bless His Ark|
|Castle in the Gloom|
|The Book of Boys and Girls|
|Islands, Women, and God|
|Man Who Would Be God|
|Cleaning the Well|
|Jesus in the Mist|