Short Stories and Essays
- Travels with George, In Search of Ben Hur and Other Meanderings (2011)
- Jesus in the Mist: Stories (2007)
- Here’s to Noah, Bless His Ark, and Other Musings (2005)
- The Book of Boys and Girls (2003)
- Islands, Women, and God (May, 2001)
- The Man Who Would Be God: Stories (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1993)
- The Time the Waters Rose And Stories of the Gulf Coast (2016)
- The Segovia Chronicles (2007)
- Castle in the Gloom (2004)
- Pompeii Man (December, 2001)
- Paul Ruffin: New and Selected Poems (2010) with Billy Bob Hill
- Cleaning the Well: Poems Old and New (2008)
- Circling (Dallas: Browder Springs Press, 1996) (Winner of the 1997 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for poetry)
- The Storm Cellar (1987)
- Our Women (Oxford, Mississippi: Abbott House, 1982)
- Lighting the Furnace Pilot (Peoria, Illinois: Spoon River Poetry Press, 1980)
- Ruffin-It :Essays (2010)
- Ruffin It (regular column in numerous Mississippi newspapers)
- This the Matter Is: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Robert Holland (co-editor Barbara Criswell)
- So There You Are: The Selected Prose of Glenn Brown, Journalist
Paul Ruffin was born in Millport, Alabama, in 1941. When he was seven years old, his family moved to Columbus, Mississippi.
After graduating from Columbus Public Schools, he entered the U.S. Army for a brief tour of duty. After completing his tour, Ruffin enrolled at Mississippi State University (MSU) in Starkville, Mississippi.
While attending MSU, he worked at Parker Furniture Store in Columbus. During that time he also married Jackie Wilkinson, with whom he had a son, Scott. Ruffin graduated from MSU in 1964 with a degree in English. From 1964 to 1966, Ruffin was an English teacher at Hamilton High School.
Ruffin obtained his master’s degree in English from Mississippi State University in 1968. He taught at Lee High School in Columbus, Mississippi for three years and at Caldwell High for one year.
Ruffin took two summer trips to Europe, divorced his wife, and in 1971 entered the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. He earned his Ph.D.in 1974. He met and married Sharon Krebs from Moss Point, Mississippi, while attending Southern Mississippi.
Ruffin was hired as an English instructor at Mississippi State University. After one year at MSU, he joined the faculty at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Ruffin and his wife Sharon had two children before they divorced in 2006.
Paul Ruffin was the Founding Editor of The Texas Review and served as Editor-in-Chief for several years. He founded the Texas Review Press and was a member of the Texas A & M University Press Consortium. His book of poems, Circling, was the 1997 winner of The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for poetry.
Ruffin wrote essays, reviews, and a regular newspaper column called Ruffin-It that has appeared in five different newspapers in the South, including The Starkville Daily News.
In 2001 he published Islands, Women, and God, a collection of short stories and a novel entitled Pompeii Man. In 2004 Ruffin published a novel called Castle in the Gloom. Since then he has published many books which include novels, short story collections, and essays. He has also written a memoir Growing Up in Mississippi Poor and White But Not Quite Trash which has not been published.
Ruffin has done readings and workshops all across the South and Southwest and in New England, the Northwest, and England, including appearances at numerous writing conferences and colleges and universities. His work has appeared appeared in Southern Living, Southern Quarterly, Southwest Reader, and the Michigan Quarterly Review.
In addition, Ruffin was a member of the Texas Institute for Letters, Mississippi Institute of Arts, Academy of American Poets, South-Central Modem Language Association, Conference of College Teachers of English, Conference of Editors of Learned Journals, Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers, and Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers.
He was listed inThe Directory of American Poets and Writers, The International Authors and Writers Who’s Who, Who’s Who in Writers, Editors, and Poets: United States and Canada, Who’s Who of North American Poets, Who’s Who: Personalities of the South, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.
His books and chapbooks include the following: Mississippi Poets (1976), The Texas Anthology (1979), Lighting the Furnace Pilot (Poetry, 1982), Our Women (Poetry, 1985), Contemporary New England Poetry: A Sampler (with George Garrett and X. J. Kennedy, two volumes, 1986-1987), The Storm Cellar (Poetry, 1987),To Come Up Grinning: A Tribute to George Garrett (with Stuart Wright, 1989), Contemporary Southern Short Fiction: A Sampler (with George Garret, 1991), Images of Texas in the Nation (with Terry Bilhartz, 1991), That’s What I Like (About the South): Southern Fiction for the 1990’s (with George Garrett, 1993, University of South Carolina Press), The Man Who Would Be God (short fiction, 1993, Southern Methodist University Press), After The Grapes of Wrath: Essays on John Steinbeck (co-edited with Donald Coers and Robert DeMott, 1995, Ohio University Press), Circling (poetry, Browder Springs Press, American Regional Book Series, 1996)–Winner of the 1997 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry, A Goyen Companion: Appreciations of a Writers Writer (co-edited with Brooke Horvath and Irving Malin, 1997, University of Texas Press), and So There You Are: The Selected Prose of Glenn Brown, Journalist (edited work, Texas Review Press, 1998).
In addition he has had over fifty stories and over 500 poems published in such journals and magazines as Alabama Literary Review Alaska Quarterly Review, American Literary Review American Way, Arkansas Review Chariton Review, Connecticut Review, Cross Timbers Review , Florida Review, Kansas Quarterly , Michigan Quarterly Review, New Mexico Humanities Review, The New Review North Atlantic Review, Northeast Review, Pembroke Magazine Ploughshares, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Review, and Southwestern American Literature. His works also appear in various anthologies.
Paul Ruffin passed away on April 14, 2016 at the age of 74.
- Interview with Paul Ruffin at Montgomery College
- Paul Ruffin’s Home Page as member of English Department at SHSU.
- Mississippi Writer’s Project at UM
- New Novel by SHSU Professor Set in East Texas
- Email interview with Paul Ruffing of Texas Review Press by Anis Shivani, Huff Post books, 2015