R. Flowers Rivera is native of Mississippi, she completed a Ph.D. in English, specializing in African American literature and creative writing, at Binghamton University and an M.A. in English at Hollins University in addition to an M.S. in human resource development from Georgia State University and a B.S. from The University of Georgia.
Xavier Review Press published her 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 Association of Authors as its 2014 Poetry Book of the Year. Rivera’s second collection, Heathen, has been selected by poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller as the winner of the 2015 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, published by Lotus Press, Inc. and distributed by Wayne State University Press (forthcoming March 2015). Rivera’s work limns and re-imagines the intersections of race, gender, class, orientation, and regional identity.
Rivera was awarded the 2009 Leo Love Merit Scholarship in Poetry in association with the Taos Summer Writers Conference. Her short story, “The Iron Bars,” won the 1999 Peregrine Prize, and she has been a finalist for the May Swenson Award, the Journal Intro Award, the Gary Snyder Memorial Award, the Paumanok Award, the Crab Orchard Series, and the Gival Poetry Prize as well as garnering nominations for Pushcarts. Rivera has been anthologized in Mischief, Caprice & Other Poetic Strategies and included in a book on poetics titled The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Poetry. She has been published in journals such as African American Review, Columbia, Evergreen Chronicles, Beloit Poetry Journal, Feminist Studies, Obsidian, The Southern Review, and UCity Review. Currently, she lives in McKinney, Texas.