Hello, I am
R. Flowers Rivera

My passion for writing began early with the formidable influences of my beloved grandmother, women within our community, and the history that flows through my vein as a Black woman of the South. Growing up, I was steeped in the oral tradition via the stories of oppression within my community and, thus, felt a deep sense of compassion for our struggles, while noticing the throughlines of erasure. I felt compelled to understand why, despite countless marches, protests, movements, and the sacrifice of our bodies do we still face such a crucial disparity in American life. Racial disputes, discrimination, and injustice leveled against our community, which resulted innumerable losses and an overwhelming sense of grief — nevertheless, joy continues to erupted through North Gulfport. Ultimately, I want to witness for my homeplace and all of the stifled voices — of Gulfport, Mississippi — as a means of documenting a disappearing way of life as well as signaling to others who may feel isolated in our community. However, hear me when I say that we are a formidable people, and our creative and cultural workers are actively seeking to engender space for us all.​

I completed my Ph.D. at Binghamton University and an M.A. at Hollins University. Xavier Review Press published my debut poetry collection, Troubling Accents (July 2013), which received a nomination from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters and was selected by the Texas Authors Association as its 2014 Poetry Book of the Year. My second collection, Heathen, has been selected by poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller as the winner of the 2014 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize (Wayne State University Press, March 2015). My short story, “The Iron Bars,” won the 1999 Peregrine Prize. I am a Callaloo as well as an Idyllwild fellow.

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As a fellow writer and poet, I value:

Creativity

Community

Craft

Compassion

Critical Thought

Celebration

Awards & Mentions

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Work Experience

Guest Lecturer

2021 - Present

Southern Methodist University

Poet/Writer/Educator

2021 - Present

Guest Lecturer

Aug 2015 - May 2018

University of Texas at Dallas

Professor of English

Aug 2008 - May 2011

Collin College

Lecturer of English

Aug 2006 - June 2007

Lausanne Collegiate School

Instructor of English

Aug 2004 - June 2006

Shelby County Schools

Lecturer of English

Aug 2003 - June 2004

Christian Brothers University

Assistant Professor of English

Sept 2001 - June 2003

University of the District of Columbia

Assistant Professor of English

Aug 2000 - June 2001

Northern Virginia Community College

Manuscripts

Troubling Accents, Poetry Collection, 110 pp.

(July 2013, Xavier Review Press, Xavier University, New Orleans)

Heathen, Poetry Collection, 80 pp.

(February 2015, published by Lotus Press Inc. and distributed by Wayne State University Press)

Thus, It Happened

(manuscript-in-progress). Novel, ca. 340 pp.

Human Body, Human Mind

(manuscript-in-progress). Short stories, ca. 100 pp.

Download my full CV

Updated for 2022

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Explore my Work.

My journey as a writer was inspired by the lives around me and the tribe of women who continuously work to support each other. My craft is dedicated to penning their stories of hardships and triumphs, so we will always remember our history and humanity in its truest form.