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Award-winning Poet to Visit Central Park Campus

April 9, 2015 — Celebrated poet R. Flowers Rivera will read from her latest book of poetry, "Heathen" and hold a book signing from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Thursday, April 23, at Collin College's Central Park Campus conference center room D106B, located at 2200 W. University Drive in McKinney. The event is free and open to the public.

The "Heathen" manuscript was the winner of the prestigious 2015 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, recognizing an outstanding book-length manuscript by an African-American poet. The book's February release follows the success of Rivera's debut award-winning collection "Troubling Accents."

"I know the term 'revisionist mythology' sounds high-brow," Rivera said. "However, most people have had some exposure to mythology, usually in high school, and it's either "The Odyssey" or "The Iliad." I became lost in the stories in middle school, and they stayed with me all these years. However, once I was older, I began to question why Zeus's wife, Hera, got a bad rap when her husband was the one running around, or why all the gods assumed Hephaestus would just drop everything and make whatever they wanted —whenever they wanted — as if he had no life of his own. I just wanted a new way to explore these myths through the lenses of race, gender and Southern culture. I became lost in all the ways the myths could be adapted as poems to reveal new perspectives, new voices."

A native of Mississippi, Dr. Rivera now lives in McKinney. Her work has been anthologized in "Mischief, Caprice & Other Poetic Strategies" and published in journals such as "African American Review," "The Beloit Poetry Journal," "Columbia," "Feminist Studies," "Obsidian" and "The Southern Review." Her short story, "The Iron Bars," won the 1999 Peregrine Prize.

This event is sponsored by the Central Park Campus English faculty and Open Doors, Open Minds @ Collin. For more information on Dr. Rivera, visit

Collin College serves nearly 52,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates in a wide range of disciplines. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.