Louis Reyes Rivera


Upon graduating in 1974, Rivera conducted a writing workshop at the New MUSE Community Museum in Brooklyn. From there grew a manuscript, Poets in Motion, his first anthology. The MUSE did not want to invest in it, and he understood already that mainstream publishers would not be interested. Since he had acquired editing and publishing skills while running a college newspaper, Rivera decided to do it himself, under the name of Shamal Books, the publishing company he founded in 1975. The intention was to develop an alternative venue that would allow new writers of African and Latino and Latina descent to establish a publishing record. In this way, poets and essayists could pass through Shamal and into the literary arena. Shamal Books sold enough copies of its first title to pay everyone something as well as to help finance subsequent titles. Other publishing collectives began to use Rivera as a consultant on their own projects. Through Shamal, he published over eighteen writers; as a consultant, he assisted in the publication of more than two hundred titles by alternative publishers.

Beginning in 1996, Rivera hosted “1st & 3rd Sundays Jazzoetry & Open Mic” at Sistas’ Place, in Brooklyn, where he also conducted a writing workshop. He appeared in Jazz clubs and festivals with The Sun Ra All Stars Project, Ahmed Abdullah’s Diaspora, and his own band, The Jazzoets, as well as on Russell Simmons’s award-winning DEF POETRY on HBO. He also hosted the radio program Perspectives on WBAI, 99.5 FM (www.wbai.org).
In the early 2000s, among several projects, Rivera was compiling material for The Bandana Republic, an anthology of prose and poetry from current and former gang members, and those affiliated with street-based organizations.


Bibliography and More Information about Louis Reyes Rivera

  • Primary Works
  • Ashanti, B. J. Nubiana, Vol. I. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1977.
  • Ismaili, Rashidah. Oniybo & Other Poems. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1986.
  • Killen, John Oliver. Great Black Russian: A Novel on the Life & Times of Alexander Pushkin. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 1989.
  • Maldonado, Adál. Portraits of the Puerto Rican Experience. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Bronx, N.Y.: Institute for Puerto Rican Urban Studies, 1984.
  • Ngafua, Zizwe. Nommo. Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1978.
  • Rivera, Louis Reyes. “Inside the River of Poetry.” Located at inmotionmagazine.com; nuyoricanpoetry.com; nathanielturner.com; and afrolatino.org
  • Rivera, Louis Reyes, ed. Poets in Motion. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1976.
  • Sundiata, Sekou. Free! Edited by Louis Reyes Rivera. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Shamal Books, 1977.
  • Secondary Works
  • Chicken Bones: A Journal. www.nathanielturner.com. 2003. See: “Scattered Scripture: An Interview with Award-Winning Poet Louis Reyes Rivera.”
  • “Louis Reyes Rivera: Mentor to a Generation.” Hip Hop Business Magazine. www.hiphopbusiness.com

Since 1996, Rivera continues to host a bi-monthly 1st & 3rd Sundays Jazzoetry & Open Mic @ Sistas’ Place (where he also conducts his writing workshop), in Brooklyn, and has appeared in Jazz clubs and festivals with The Sun Ra All-Stars Project, Ahmed Abdullah’s Diaspora, and his own band, The Jazzoets. He has recently appeared on C-SPAN, as part of the REPARATIONS NOW! rally held in Washington, D.C., this past August 17th, and on Russell Simmons’ DEF POETRY on HBO. Currently, Louis Reyes Rivera can be heard every Thursday, at 2pm, on radio station WBAI (99.5 FM), hosting his own weekly show, PERSPECTIVE.

Contact: Shamal Books, GPO Box 16, NYC 10116 (718) 622 4426 Louisreyesrivera@aol.com

– Sandra Maria Esteves

Louis Reyes Rivera transitioned March 3rd, 2012

(All Rights Reserved) COPYRIGHT @ Dale Shields/Arthur T. Wilson ( Iforcolor.org )


B5                     LINKS

Louis Reyes Rivera – “Bullet Cry” – Def Poetry

louis reyes

Louis Reyes Rivera & the Jazzoets (two)




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