The daughter of a rocket engineer father who was also an accomplished painter, and a musician mother, Rachel’s creativity ignited in her father’s studio and at her mother’s piano. At age ten she penned a mystery novel, then a play at age eleven, and at thirteen began to write poetry. Joining the Poetry Club at the University of California at Berkeley, Rachel met Bay Area poets and began to write and publish poetry.
Her first book, Earth Lessons, (now on Kindle) appeared in 1998 (Bellowing Ark Press). In 2005, she published a second collection, Femme au Chapeau, to acclaim from poets, public, and reviewers. Poet and professor Terri Brown-Davidson called it “thrilling, one-of-a-kind poetry” and, praising its “rich layerings of sonicism” and “glittering poetic surface,” called it high art.
In her newest book, Gods of Water and Air, a book of poetry, prose, and drama, she continues a passionate exploration of personal transformation, delving into everything from reincarnation to growing up with a painter, and growing up in an immigrant community and at the ocean. One reviewer called the book “as deliciously diverse as it is spellbinding.”
An art history trip to study the Renaissance in northern Italy inspired a series of essays, one of which appeared in the Seal Press anthology Italy: A Love Affair. This theme has recently given rise to her current work on a time-travel play involving the great Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Impresario of Ecstasy.
She has published essays on poetic craft, book reviews, poems, stories, and memoir pieces in a wide variety of print and online journals and anthologies. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works as a fundraising consultant, operating her own firm, Rachel Dacus Resource Development. Visit her fundraising website to learn more about her services.
Photo: Jim MacKinnon