Relaunch of formerly student-centric literary journal Write On, Downtown to be more inclusive of the community it represents
Among the uninitiated, Phoenix might conjure less-than-savory thoughts of suburban sprawl, ecological challenges or a dearth of history.
But the truth is every place has its own unique stories to tell, rooted in the lives of those who call it home.
This Friday, the relaunch of Write On, Downtown, the long-running literary journal that originated on Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus, endeavors to prove that point. The relaunch event will take place at noon at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix and is free and open to the public.
“You're going to know that it represents Phoenix before you even open it,” said Rosemarie Dombrowski, senior lecturer of English at ASU and one of the founders of the journal.
Since it got its start in 2006, Dombrowski has guided Write On, Downtown’s evolution from “a journal of student writing on the downtown campus” to “a journal of student and community writing on the downtown campus” to its current iteration as “a journal of Phoenix writing” — full stop.
The decision to begin including writing from community members in addition to students — and to forgo the distinction in the journal’s subtitle — felt natural and necessary, she said, “because student or civilian, we're all part of the Phoenix community.”
In order to create something that felt like a more authentic reflection of the city and its people, Dombrowski partnered with Assistant Professor Danielle Foushee, whose design students collaborated with Dombrowski’s to give the journal a new look.
While Dombrowski’s students read, sorted and edited dozens of submissions, Foushee’s read the ones that made the final cut and toured the city, riding the light rail from end to end, for inspiration.