Troubling Accents (July, 2013)

R. Flowers Rivera's Troubling Accents is an impressive act of storytelling and at times ventriloquism. With a compelling mix of tenderness and ambivalence, yearning and loss, the poems embrace 'brutal and beautiful' human experience and histories, returning often to the subjectivity of black Southerners, women in particular. The insights these poems offer are grounded in Rivera's evocative images, her diction that weds the vernacular and the formal, and her sustained attention to voice/persona. The subjects and scenes of the poems vary widely and wildly-- flirtation at a funeral, the silence in a family surrounding one member's death [complicated by] AIDS, domestic violence, conflicted love and sexuality, the indomitable Bessie Smith, and more. What remains constant through the collection is Rivera's gift for upending expectations and exposing each moment's facade."
--Shara McCallum, author and Director of Stadler Center for Poetry


Heathen (Forthcoming Feb., '15)

In Heathen, R. Flowers Rivera remixes the classical and the Biblical, the usual and the typical until what we thought we knew of ourselves and others is new again. The mythic becomes particular; the particular becomes mythic in these fascinating poems of personalities and personas. Rivera’s work is rich in empathy and invention. Heathen is a book of psalms for the present day.

– Terrance Hayes, author of Lighthead, Wind in a Box, and Hip Logic

More reviews, here.

For bookings, media, and interview requests, please contact publicist Leah Shapiro at

Recent Publications

Upcoming Events

All readings are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.


Feb. 11
Debut Reading of HEATHEN| The Wild Detectives | Dallas, TX | 730pm reading


Feb. 12
Bach to Books Cultural Arts Festival | Allen Public Library | Allen, TX | 7:30 pm

Feb. 18
Texas Woman's University | Arts & Sciences Bldg, rm 103 | Denton, TX | 4 pm reading, Q&A 4:30–5 pm


Feb. 23
Georgia Perimeter College— Dunwoody Campus | African-American Read-In | Dunwoody, GA | 1–3:30 pm


Feb. 24
Berry College | Mount Berry, GA | 7:30–8:30 pm, Evans Auditorium


Feb. 26
Georgia Perimeter—Decatur Campus | 2:30 pm reading, room SF 2100


March 2
Texas A&M—Commerce | Commerce, TX | 6–8 pm | Hall of Languages room 203


Mar. 2
Texas A&M-Commerce | Commerce, TX | 6–8pm Reading


March 21–23
Southern Methodist University LitFest 2015 | Dallas, TX | Time TBA

March 24
Louisiana Tech University | Ruston, LA | 5:30 pm

March 25
Northwestern State University of LA | Natchitoches, LA | Time TBA

March 26
Loyola University | New Orleans, LA | 5 p.m.


March 27
Southern Bound Books | Biloxi, MS | 6 pm

March 28
Ohr O'Keefe Museum | Biloxi, MS | 12:30 pm

March 31
Dillard University | New Orleans, LA | Time TBA

April 2
Scissortail Creative Writing Festival | East Central University | Ada, OK | 11–12:15 pm, Estep Auditorium


April 6
Texas Lutheran University | Seguin, TX | Time TBA


April 10–11
Jackson State University | Margaret Walker Student Conference | Jackson, MS | Time TBA


April 16
Grambling State University | Grambling, LA | 11–12:30pm


April 29
Farmers Branch Manske Library | Farmers Branch, TX | 7 pm


May 1
The Crow & Quill | Asheville, NC | Time TBA

May 3
Malaprop's Bookstore | Poetrio | Asheville, NC | 3pm

May 4
Center for Women Writers at Salem College | Winston-Salem, NC | 7:30 pm

May 5
Scuppernong Books | Greensboro, NC | 7 pm


Previous Readings:

• Austin College

• Berry College

• Clark Atlanta University

• Collin College

• Dillard University

• East Central University

• Georgia Perimeter

• Jefferson State

• Seattle University

• Southern Methodist University,

• Texas A&M—Commerce

• Texas Christian University

• University of Indianapolis

• University of North Carolina—Asheville

• University of Texas—El Paso

• Xavier University