image title
Writers Resist: 3 p.m. Sunday at Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix.
Writers gather in Phoenix to reassert commitment to ideals of democracy.
January 12, 2017

Diverse group plans to gather for 'Writers Resist,' an international movement to reassert commitment to ideals of democracy

“Writing, in particular, is a very strong conduit for compassion, empathy and human connection,” said Jake Friedman, coordinator for ASU’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Regrettably, piggybacked Arizona Poet Laureate and ASU Regents’ Professor Alberto Rios, those traits are sorely lacking in the current political landscape, and “we are living in a world of shouting.”

Those sentiments are the driving force behind Writers Resist, an international movement that calls on literary luminaries everywhere to reassert their commitment to the ideals of democracy.

Prominent writers from across the state — including Rios and others from ASU — will read diverse works from the American literary canon Sunday afternoon at Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix.

Friedman, who also serves as the director of the independent Phoenix-based lit magazine Four Chambers Press, worked closely with ASU associate professor of English Sally Ball to ensure the event would be a welcoming place for writers and the community at large to celebrate historical literary figures — such as Shirley Chisholm, Langston Hughes and Susan Sontag — for their unrelenting commitment to honest and meaningful critique of the aspects of American life that betray the country’s stated ideals, as well as their stirring homages to those aspects that honor them.

Compared with the often explosive and incensing dialogue taking place in public and private spaces, “this event is quieter, and therefore much more powerful,” Rios said.

ASU senior lecturer Rosemarie Dombrowski, recently named the inaugural poet laureate for the city of Phoenix, plans to read from poet Diane di Prima’s “Revolutionary Letter 16,” which laments the mindless destruction of the environment in the name of modern convenience.

“I wanted to keep mine local, to bring some of the environmental issues that are grave in our state to people’s attention, given what could potentially happen with the EPA,” Dombrowski said. “It’s close to my heart, and it’s universally human.”

Sunday’s event will also raise awareness for a variety of nonprofitsThose groups are Honor the Earth, the Brennan Center for Justice (voting rights), Climate Reality, Derochos Humanos/No One Is Illegal, The DreamUS, Equality Arizona, Humane Borders, International Rescue Committee, Mi Familia Vota (Phoenix), Life Paradigms, NAACP, National Resource Defense Council, Native America Calling, No More Deaths/No Más Muertes, NOW, PEN America, Planned Parenthood, PuenteAZ, Southern Poverty Law Center, Union of Concerned Scientists, the White Helmets and WIPP: Women Impacting Public Policy. that serve the ideals of democracy in some way, Ball said. She hopes it will serve as a reminder for people of “how to live a meaningful life as a citizen.”

Ball also noted the diverse range of writers who will be in attendance. Friedman called the gathering unprecedented.

“I cannot think of a time in recent memory that such an impressive and diverse group of authors have come together in the state of Arizona for an event of this magnitude and scale, particularly one that is open to the public, free and advancing a renewed public agenda for the fundamental civil rights of free speech, self-determination and liberty,” he said.

Friedman and others involved agree that this isn’t the end of the story, though.

“Hopefully, everybody is going to take this spirit of activism back into their literary communities and continue forward,” Dombrowski said. “Hopefully, this gives people momentum. And fodder to work with, as well.”


Top photo: ASU senior lecturer and Phoenix Poet Laureate Rosemarie Dombrowski (left), ASU Regents' Professor and Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Rios, and ASU associate professor Sally Ball will read from their works at the Writers Resist event at  3 p.m. Sunday at the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix. Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Emma Greguska

Reporter , ASU Now

(480) 965-9657

image title

ASU website provides precise snapshot of local weather, available to the public

Weather data updated monthly on ASU site, can be downloaded.
January 13, 2017

Amateur meteorologists and researchers can access data from Tempe monitoring station

Researchers and weather-watching enthusiasts can now tap into local meteorological data gathered by the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University.

The center’s team has installed a weather station atop the seven-story building where its laboratory is located on ASU’s Tempe campus.

The station is equipped with an array of sensors and other components that monitor and measure temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind speed and direction and light intensity around its location.

The data — going back to March 2016 — is updated monthly and posted on the center’s website, from which the information can also be downloaded.

“It provides a neat, precise, archived snapshot of the meteorological date for this area,” said Allen Wright (pictured above), the executive director of the center operated by the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Weather-monitoring station on top of an ASU building in Tempe
The monitoring station atop Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 on ASU’s Tempe campus measures an array of weather conditions. Photo by Pete Zrioka/ASU

The center’s research staff uses the information to look for correlations between weather conditions and the performance efficiency of the air-capture devices in its lab.

The center focuses on developing and implementing the next generation of carbon-management technologies to help reduce the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide that can negatively impact climate change and environmental health.

But Wright said the information provided by the weather station can also be helpful to other researchers doing experiments involving the effects of weather conditions on various materials, processes or systems.

The data may also be interesting to many amateur meteorologists and hobbyists who might want to compare the station’s readings with those from small home weather stations, he said.

For more information, e-mail


Top photo: Allen Wright (foreground) and Yun Ge check on the weather station used by researchers at ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. Wright is the center’s executive director. Ge is a software engineer on the research team. Photo by Pete Zrioka/ASU

Joe Kullman

Science writer , Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering