Rosemarie Dombrowski has been named inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Phoenix. Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Laura Pastor made the announcement Wednesday morning at South Mountain Community College and Library.
"I can't wait to see the poetry Phoenix will inspire in Rosemarie Dombrowski," Stanton says. "Her qualifications as a writer and teacher, her commitment to community outreach through poetry, make her an excellent choice for this new position."
Dombrowski teaches English composition, creative writing, and literature at the Arizona State University campus in downtown Phoenix. She's been a fixture on the local literary scene for years. Ten years ago, she co-founded the Phoenix Poetry Series (which she continues to host), as well as her own poetry publishing company, Rinky Dink Press. She serves as poetry editor of Phoenix-based Four Chambers Press, and hosts Four Chambers' monthly Get Lit! salons at Valley Bar. She has had two full-length books of poetry published; her latest, The Book of Emergencies (Four Oaks Press, 2014), draws inspiration from her day-to-day life and communications with her autistic son.
As the City's poet laureate, Dombrowski's duties include giving at least four public readings per year, composing poems for special occasions, and pursuing an outreach- and education-focused literary program. She was chosen for the position by a panel of judges that included Stanton and Pastor, after the city announced its search for a poet laureate in October.
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Pastor echoed Stanton's praise for Dombrowski, saying, "With Ms. Dombrowski's clear history of working with diverse populations and organizations, we are confident she will represent our city with distinction and pride."