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 her publicist at


Recent Publications

Upcoming Events

All readings for the 2014/2015 school year have been completed.  

Reading and conference schedule for the 2015/2016 school year will be posted in August.

For more information, please send a message to


Previous Readings:

• Allen Public Library

• Austin College

• Clark Atlanta University

• Collin College

• Dallas Public Library

• Dillard University

• East Central University

• Farmers Branch Manske Library

• Grambling State

• Jackson State University

• Jefferson State

• Louisiana Tech University

• Loyola University

• North Carolina Stage Company

• Northwestern State University of LA

• Ohr O’Keefe Museum

• Scissortail Creative Writing Festival

• Seattle University

• Southern Bound Books

• Southern Methodist University

• Southern Methodist University LitFest 2015

• Southwestern State University

• Texas A&M Commerce

• Texas Christian University

• Texas Lutheran University

• Texas Woman’s University

• The Wild Detectives

• University of Indianapolis

• University of North Carolina—Asheville

• University of Texas—San Antonio

• Xavier University