The Big Thicket

The publisher of The Big Thicket, Slough Press, has published fine literature for 40 years

Jerry Craven is author of 25 published books

Bruce Jefferson took the photographs for the book

      Jerry Craven grew up in Southeast Texas just a few miles from the Big Thicket. He spent many weekends and holidays hiking in the Thicket, swimming and fishing in its creeks and rivers. "My favorite time of the year in the Big Thicket," he once wrote, "is in the Spring when the dogwood blossoms light up the forest. Then after that, the magnolia trees produce huge, abundant, and wonderful flowers."

     Craven has published books of fiction, creative nonfiction, children's books, and poetry. A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, he has taught literature and creative writing for seven universities in three countries. After a career that took him to other parts of Texas and to other continents, he returned to the Big Thicket region, making his home in Jasper Country. So far he has written two books set in the Thicket.

      Bruce Jefferson, an award-winning photographer, visited the Big Thicket for the first time when he agreed to take some photographs for this book. "The beauty of the Big Thicket," he wrote upon return, "is not at once obvious, but it takes only a short period of time for it to become apparent. As I walked a Big Thicket trail there seemed to be a hush, a serene quiet that introduced the subtle and wonderful natural sounds of the Thicket. The trees, the brush, the birds and whirring insects made a unique music that seemed to seep through the hush. Somehow breezes danced with the underbrush while the tops of the tall trees remained perfectly still. The Big Thicket offered up a feast of light and shadow, texture and detail guaranteed to inspire a photographer or any other lover of nature. There was just too much to capture on a single visit to the Big Thicket, so I’m planning to return often."

     Currently Bruce Jefferson makes his home in Killeen, Texas.


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