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

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

Recent Publications

Upcoming Events

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, T | 4 pm


Feb. 24
Berry College | Mount Berry, GA | Time TBA


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 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 2–4
Scissortail Creative Writing Festival | East Central University | Ada, OK | TBD


April 10–11
Jackson State University | Margaret Walker Student Conference | Jackson, MS | 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 p.m.


Previous Readings:

• Austin College

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