Retired Vancouver, WA psychologist Eileen Elliott has recently completed and published Pobrecitos, a poetry collection that reflects many years of travel to far-off corners in the world. She sought the collaboration of two young artists who are studying at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. The poems have been illustrated by Ava Town of Ridgefield and Lily Engblom-Stryker of Vancouver. The black-and-white drawings amplify the poems’ entries to see the “poor ones” of the world, the Pobrecitos.
There are glimpses of old grandmothers in six-story walkups in Warsaw, a care worker visiting the child sex workers of Thailand, and street venders of Mexico who take their babies to work and provide a cradle under their skirts. Together, the words and pictures reveal a story of places of gritty reality with loving respect.
This is Elliott’s third published book of poetry. She calls these collections of narrative poems “poemoirs,” because they reflect her own or close family experiences in poetry and memoir style. Her earlier books were Prodigal Cowgirl, an homage to the Midwest rural life of the 50’s, and Miles of Pies, a poetic history take on a family and small town life of the 50’s. Both books are available through lulupress.com or from the author. She also works on combining text and visual image in “decorated” haiku, abstract painting, and figure drawing and continues to work on a novel and new poetry.