​​​City of Phoenix Poet Laureate - Rosemarie Dombrowski

Rosemarie Dombrowski portrait in front of typewriters

About Rosemarie Dombrowski

Rosemarie Dombrowski was appointed the inaugural Poet Laureate by Mayor Greg Stanton in December 2016 and was reappointed by Mayor Williams in 2018. Her term will expire at the end of 2020.

Rosemarie Dombrowski is the founder of Rinky Dink Press, a poetry editor at Four Chambers Press, and the co-founder and host of the Phoenix Poetry Series, which is about to enter its tenth year. She has been nominated for several poetry-related awards and her work has appeared in numerous publications. Her collections include The Book of Emergencies, a lyrical exploration of the culture of autism, and The Philosophy of Unclean Things, a celebration of phobias, superstitions, and decay.

In addition to being a lifetime literary arts activist, she is a Senior Lecturer of English on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus, where she has taught since its inaugural year (2006). She is the co-founder and editor of the undergraduate writing journal on campus, and she teaches courses on poetics, women's literature, and creative ethnography.

To learn more about the Poet Laureate and her scheduled events and appearances, please contact Anel E. Arriola, grants and programs manager at anel.arriola@phoenix.gov or 602-534-5084.

Learn more about Rosemarie at: rosemariedombrowski.com


A public call for nominations was issued in October 2016 by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. A panel of literary experts and other leaders in the Arizona arts and culture community convened in November to review the applications. The panel evaluated the applications based on 1) recognition of the poet within the literary, cultural, or education communities; 2) record of high quality, published or documented work or service through the literary arts; 3) willingness to make presentations throughout the Phoenix area; and 4) interest in pursuing a major literary project with an emphasis on outreach and education.

The United States Poet Laureate (or Consultant in Poetry) was established in 1937; the current U.S. Poet Laureate is Tracy K. Smith. A majority of states have established an official poet laureate.  Alberto Álvaro Ríos became Arizona's first State Poet Laureate in August 2013. While numerous cities nominate a poet laureate, some of the largest cities in America created a city poet laureate position in 2012 and 2013, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, and San Antonio.


What does the Phoenix Poet Laureate Do?

The Phoenix Poet Laureate will:

  • Travel within the City of Phoenix, placing an emphasis on outreach to residents who might not otherwise be exposed to quality poetry.

  • Offer a minimum of 4 public readings per year. 

  • Undertake a major literary project (identified and implemented in consultation with the Office of Arts and Culture) with the goal of educating residents about poetry and literary arts. Collaboration with other Poets Laureate, including the Poet Laureate of Arizona, as well as other artists generally, is encouraged.

Learn more about the Poet Laureate's readings and engagements

On Location with Councilwoman Pastor