Me Drawing a Picture of Me[n] by Rachelle Escamilla

ISBN 978-1-7322091-3-8

66 pages



A new collection by Willow Books author Rachelle Escamilla (Imaginary Animal).

A book of poems set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 2008 election.

The poems speak to various (usually white) male figures in time from the perspective of a Chicana who has just been diagnosed with a number of poverty-related illnesses.

me drawing a picture of me[n] is not a poetry book to open to any random page, but an impressionistic story that unfolds deliberately and rhythmically.  It is desperate and loving, sexy and sad, the story of a city, men, and the interior of a body, a tumor that “leaned on my ovary like your head on my/ shoulder.” At its core, this is a love letter, shot through with disappointment and longing— “We are a pelican song. We are a soft whistle. We are// nothing really.” —and it is shockingly beautiful on every page.

—Katie Booth, John W. Kluge Fellow, Library of Congress

In a lattice of love, image and industrial stamina, Escamilla makes magic on the page. Indomitable in their journeying, these poems reveal the theater of a proletarians walk home. Reminding us that we do not want a glamorous center of the universe. Reminding us that we are loved. Reminding us that we are her city.

—Tongo Eisen-Martin, Heaven is All Goodbyes, 2018 American Book Award and California Book Award Winner


Rachelle Escamilla is the proud descendant of campesinos and cholos. She is the producer and host of the longest running poetry radio show in the United States, Out of Our Minds (KKUP) and the founder of the Poets & Writers Coalition at San Jose State University. From 2012-2014 Rachelle lived in China where she co-founded The Sun Yat-sen University English-language Center for Creative Writing and headed a lecture series at the American Center of the United States Consulate of Guangzhou. She is the winner of the Virginia de Arujo Academy of American Poets prize and she teaches Creative Writing and Social Action at California State University Monterey Bay. In 2018, Rachelle was a Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress, Hispanic Division, where she conducted research around her grandfather’s 1969 testimony for the fair treatment of migrant laborers in California and recorded poems for the library’s archive. Rachelle was born and raised in Hollister, California and currently lives in Monterey, California.