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Tiny Package, Big Punch: Flash Memoir and the Art of Concision with Rosemarie Dombrowski

Date(s): Wednesdays, May 16 - 23, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281 (view map)
Craft Class, Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Experimental, Flash, Hybrid, Memoir

$95 Regular, $86 ASU Affiliate, $75 Student

About the Class

The tools of the trade remain relatively the same, but the size of the package – when it comes to writing “flash” – forces us to distill our stories into palatable, 750-word bites. Think of them as appetizers for your longer works, parts of a longer whole, or simply an exercise in brevity and lyrical concision. In the first part of the course, we’ll discuss the features of the form – both memoir and its flash counterpart – emphasizing the elements that are standard to memoir as well as those unique to flash. We’ll also read and discuss a few recent flashes from Brevity magazine, and review the take-home writing prompt. In the second part of the course, we’ll read and review the flash memoirs of all participants in a traditional work-shop-style environment.

Meet Your Instructor: Rosemarie Dombrowski

Picture of Rosemarie Dombrowski

About Rosemarie Dombrowski

Rosemarie Dombrowski is the founder of rinky dink press, the co-founder and host of the Phoenix Poetry Series, and an editor for Four Chambers Press. She is the recipient of four Pushcart nominations, the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award, an Arts Hero Award, and a fellowship from the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. Her collections include The Book of Emergencies, The Philosophy of Unclean Things, and the forthcoming The Cleavage Planes of Southwest Minerals [A Love Story], winner of the 2017 Split Rock Review chapbook competition. She teaches courses on the poetics of street art, women’s literature, and creative ethnography at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Additionally, she is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Phoenix, AZ.

Selected Media

"Infidelity." Rosemarie Dombrowski, Stonecoast Review.

You come home on a Monday and I tell you
that I’m in love with the decomposing bird
that’s been tucked under the hibiscus for months.
I make you look at its sad little sack-of-bones,
the fuzz trapped inside the marrow
that’s melting into the soil.

"The Audubon Guide to Relationships, Plates No. 142 and 147." Rosemarie Dombrowski, Split Rock Review.

(American Sparrow Hawk)

There is want, and there is not knowing
what to want—
the forested remains of a carcass
still warm from the kill,
the hand over the mouth,
the sharpened switch across the back of your thigh.

"Rosemarie Dombrowski: Phoenix's Poet Laureate." Demetrius Burns, JAVA Magazine (Apr 3, 2017).

"Dombrowski is what you might call an anthological poet. Her field work: womanhood and raising a child with autism. 'Auto-ethnography is the most authentic form of history,' Dombrowski says. 'I’m a fervent believer that history is written from the inside. I don’t like the old ethnocentric paradigm. That leads to erasure. We know that as members of the disability community. We have to tell our own stories. When you bring all those stories together, then you have a real community.'"

"The Book of Emergencies--Exploring Autism Through Poetry." Karen Davis Barr, Raising Arizona Kids (Apr 16, 2015).

"Rosemarie Dombrowski, PhD, wrote The Book of Emergencies to “capture the imagistic, linguistic and emotional discombobulation of the world of autism,” according to her book’s preface. The collection is lyrical, poignant, often wrenching but ultimately uplifting as this passionate, expressive mother—for whom words are life itself—seeks connection with a son who must fight daily to find his way out of silence."

"Two Fictions." Rosemarie Dombrowski, Spilled Milk Magazine

"She steers the car toward the intersection but doesn't make the turn. It's like a mateorological spell, sevent-six degrees and dropping, perfect for the moon-roof. She's listening to the Eagles, driving toward the buttes--more specifically, to the spot where she saw the Phoenix lights, the place that the Papago considered sacred. She has a bundle of dried sage in her bag."