Phoenix’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Rosemarie Dombrowski, makes use of the artwork as a therapeutic device
When Rosemarie Dombrowski stood in entrance of her class and shared a poem about her son, who was identified with autism and three congenital coronary heart defects, it was not only a show of vulnerability together with her college students — it was an instance of poetry used as drugs.
Dombrowski started working at ASU in 2006 and presently serves as a lecturer. She has led a number of courses in girls’s literature and medical humanities.
However above all, she’s a poet.
Dombrowski has built-in her love of poetry into her educational life by training the therapeutic advantages of poetry at ASU.
“All of us had been bawling by the top of it. It was an unbelievable, a surreal expertise,” mentioned Danielle Du, a senior learning medical research who participated in Dombrowski’s courses.
Whereas her poetry may be heart-wrenching, Dombrowski is the antithesis of melancholy. Her college students described her as, loud and passionate, a personality who’s bigger than life, and one who has had an impression on the ASU neighborhood utilizing her biggest device: poetry.
Dombrowski is constructed to retain the eye of a classroom filled with drained school college students. She acts a dwelling pop-out e-book of data whose supply turns a seemingly mundane subject right into a studying alternative. Dombrowski’s arms fly together with her phrases, and she or he is exuberant when given the chance to speak about her favourite works by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.
“Nothing I say can put together you for the fact of what Rosemarie is. You need to expertise it,” Du mentioned. “She embodies the writing course of as she talks, and she or he connects disparate issues collectively.”
In 2016, Dombrowski was appointed the inaugural Poet Laureate for town of Phoenix. One among Dombrowski’s main instruments to assist empower neighborhood members via poetry is, what she calls, poetic remedy, a course of which helps sufferers confront traumas and bodily illnesses via poetry.
At Revionsary Arts, a non-profit Dombrowski based via funds from a fellowship, she teaches therapeutic poetry workshops within the Phoenix space.
Individuals collect and open up about their lives. As they end grappling with their reminiscences and experiences, members take management of their traumas and the sensation within the room is palpably relaxed.
“The dominant idea behind poetic remedy is that, after we are in a position to recast that incident, that trauma, that damage in our personal story, we’re in a position to take again a bit little bit of energy,” Dombrowski mentioned. “As a substitute of permitting a analysis or a dying to dominate our lives, we’re in a position to say, ‘On this house right now, I will rewrite this story.'”
Barrett college students have the chance to discover a few of Dombrowski’s pursuits within the intersection of the medical and the poetic in her class, Poetry and Medicine.
Dombrowski believes the category “was actually born out of a life’s value of labor as a poet,” and was a possibility for her as a result of she was “advocating for medical poetry as a sort of salve for many who could be struggling and feeling remoted.”
To current it in a category is a brand new alternative.
The primary half of the category explores American poets’ work like Rafael Campo and Sylvia Plath, who used their poetry as physicians. It additionally focuses on affected person poets who used the artwork kind to discover the depths of their subjective experiences, from the horrors of trenches in World Conflict I, to the pains of breast most cancers.
The poetry Dombrowski teaches is not the cliché poetry folks might think about when considering of the artwork. Quite the opposite, it is a translation of cultural and historic knowledge into poetry, Dombrowski mentioned.
The convergence of those poems within the first weeks of the course “is a extremely highly effective dose of the medication of poetry. This is not poetry that speaks to life philosophies; this is not poetry that speaks to religiosity; this is not poetry that speaks to an limitless vat of hope within the universe. That is poetry that talks about f—ing most cancers and f—ing most cancers therapy.”
Later within the course, college students will kind small teams and curate therapeutic poetry workshops for ASU companions on the Westward Ho and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. College students should uncover what works greatest for his or her audiences and create an atmosphere the place writing workout routines can result in a poem others need to share.
Shiv Shah, a junior learning organic sciences and literature research in Dombrowski’s class, did his workshop on the Mirabella at ASU, a retirement neighborhood in Tempe. After the expertise, Shah walked away with a brand new appreciation for the ability of poetic remedy.
“It was actually unbelievable. They talked about issues that they by no means actually speak about. A few of them had been veterans. A few of them even had been crying concerning the issues they may unravel, simply because there was somebody with a hand on their again guiding them via their feelings,” Shah mentioned. “That form of expertise sort of opened my eyes to the form of therapies and avenues of care that individuals who don’t historically have drugs can entry.”
Du led her poetry workshop on the Westward Ho. “The inventive responses and the way in which they talked about their experiences” was so rewarding that she agreed to work with Dombrowski on future workshops.
Dombrowski’s life has formed poetry in her neighborhood simply as a lot as poetry has formed her.
As a caregiver for her medically fragile son, Dombrowski has used poetry to assist her cope with the stresses which accompany her life.
“Poetry is my remedy. That is how I grew to become a poetic therapist. Should you can not take care of your self, you can not care on your sufferers,” she mentioned.
Using poetic remedy exhibits in Dombrowski’s poetry. When she had her son in graduate college, she stepped foot into the realm of incapacity and medical tradition and has remained there ever since. Dombrowski took the challenges she confronted as a caregiver and turned in direction of inventive expression in her first assortment of poetry, “The Book of Emergencies,” which was a lyrical description of the tradition of autism.
Along with her array of initiatives and deep-rooted perception in the advantages of poetry that’s relevant to all sides of life, Dombrowski doesn’t promote herself brief. She “has all the time been a inventive dreamer.”
“My mother and father let my inventive thoughts run free,” Dombrowski mentioned. “I’ve by no means been corralled, and so it’s extremely troublesome for me to spend years gestating these items, these little initiatives, these programs, these concepts after which not permit them to blow up into one thing larger. I feel that after we make investments ourselves into one thing we’re captivated with, why ought to we begin fascinated about the bounds of that? There are not any limits.”
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