She lives in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The daughter of a rocket engineer father who was also an accomplished painter, and a musician mother, Rachel learned about art and creativity in her father’s studio and at her mother’s piano. Words were an early fascination and she penned a mystery novel at age ten, a play at age eleven, and at twelve began to write poetry. Joining the Poetry Club at the University of California at Berkeley, Rachel met some of the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance poets and that association ignited an ongoing passion for poetry.
Her first book, Earth Lessons, appeared in 1998 from Bellowing Ark Press. Primeval Press editor Jane Morris said of the book, “Rachel Dacus’ main concern in these poems comprises the relationship between woman and nature, addressing finally the nature of spirituality. Her writings are sensitive; her skill of the highest order.”
In 2005, she published her second collection, Femme au Chapeau, to acclaim from poets, public, and reviewers. Pulitzer Prize-nominated 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.
An art history trip studying the Renaissance in northern Italy inspired a series of essays, one of which appeared in the Seal Press anthology Italy: A Love Affair, and has given rise to a novel-in-progress. 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 interviews poets for Fringe Magazine.
In her newest book, Gods of Water and Air, she continues a passionate exploration of personal transformation, seeking the understanding of joy, love, grief, and the embrace of the eternal. The new book is forthcoming from Kelsay Books.
She works as a fundraising consultant, operating her own firm, Rachel Dacus Resource Development. Visit her fundraising website to learn more about her services.