Award-winning poet to discuss, read poetry in GTM

Mar 19, 2015 | Liberal Arts

Mississippi native R. Flowers Rivera, an award-winning poet, will discuss and read her poetry at Louisiana Tech University on March 24.
Her public reading, followed by a book signing, is set for 6:30-7:30 p.m. in 105 George T. Madison Hall (GTM) Auditorium, on Railroad Avenue on the campus of Louisiana Tech. Prior to the public reading, she will give an informal talk from 4-4:45 p.m. with members of Sigma Tau Delta English honorary society, the Poetry Society, and English majors in 223 Madison Hall. Students interested in creative writing may also attend.
The reading is sponsored by the Louisiana Tech Department of English and is open to the public at no charge.
Rivera, who resides in McKinney, Texas, will read from her two recent poetry collections “Heathen” (2015) and “Troubling Accents” (2013).
“Troubling Accents,” Rivera’s first poetry collection, 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. This book focused on Rivera’s experience growing up in Mississippi and her various identities of wife, daughter, Catholic, etc.
Her second collection, “Heathen” (2015), has been selected by poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller as the winner of the 2015 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, established by Lotus Press to recognize an outstanding book-length manuscript by an African-American poet.
“Most people have had some exposure to mythology, usually in high school, and it’s either ‘The Odyssey’ or ‘The Iliad,’” Rivera said about her remix of classical and biblical myths in this collection of poems. “I became lost in the stories in middle school, and they stayed with me all these years. I just wanted a new way to explore these myths through the lenses of race, gender and Southern culture.”
Rivera has a Ph.D. in English, specializing in African American literature and creative writing, from Binghamton University, an M.A. in English from Hollins University, an M.S. from Georgia State University and a B.S. from the University of Georgia.
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 many awards including 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.”
Written by Reggie Owens –