Lorenzo Thomas was born in Panama in 1944, but his family relocated to New York in 1948, and it was there that he was schooled and began his life as a poet. Already publishing as a teenager, Thomas formed lifelong friendships with such New York poets as Ted Greenwald, and was the youngest member of the Society of Umbra, that crucial predecessor of the Black Arts Movement. Following a tour of duty in the Navy, Thomas moved to Houston, where he became an intimate part of the cultural life of that region, while continuing his national and international literary associations. A critic as well as a poet, Thomas published two volumes of scholarship as well as numerous essays, including several histories of the Umbra group. He died on July 4, 2005.