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 (February, 2015)

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.


March 24

Louisiana Tech University | Ruston, LA | 530 pm, George T. Madison Hall Auditorium 105


March 25

Northwestern State University of LA | Natchitoches, LA | 6 pm, Watson Library, 2nd Floor


March 26

Loyola University | New Orleans, LA | 5 pm, Thomas Hall - Whitney Presentation Room


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 | 6 pm

April 2
Scissortail Creative Writing Festival | East Central University | Ada, OK | 11 am, Estep Auditorium


April 6
Texas Lutheran University | Seguin, TX | 7 pm


April 10

Margaret Walker Centennial at Jackson State University | Panel with Nikky Finney and Carolyn Denard | Jackson, MS | 12 pm, Ayer Hall


April 11

Margaret Walker Centennial at Jackson State University | Reading | Jackson, MS | 4 pm


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


April 21

Westview Writers Festival | Southwestern Oklahoma University | Weatherford, OK, TBA


April 23

Collin College, Central Park Campus | McKinney, TX | 11:30 am, 1st Floor Atrium)


April 25

Dallas Public Library | Dallas, TX | 2 pm, J. Erik Jonsson Central Library


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


May 1
The Crow & Quill | Asheville, NC | 7 pm


May 1

Interview with Radio Station WCQS | Asheville, NC | 1 pm


May 3

Interview on Asheville FM Word Play | | Asheville, NC | 5 pm

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 4

Center for Women Writers, Salem College | Single Sisters House | Winston Salem, NC | 7:30 pm

May 5
Scuppernong Books | Greensboro, NC | 7 pm


Previous Readings:

• Allen Public Library

• Austin College

• Clark Atlanta University

• Collin College

• Dillard University

• East Central University

• Jefferson State

• Loyola University

• Northwestern State University of LA

• Seattle University

• Southern Methodist University

• Southern Methodist University LitFest 2015

• Texas Christian University

• Texas Woman’s University

• The Wild Detectives

• University of Indianapolis

• University of North Carolina—Asheville

• University of Texas - San Antonio

• Xavier University