As the daughter of a bipolar rocket engineer who blew up a number of missiles during the race-to-space 1950s, I learned that if you dare, you eventually succeed, though there may be mishaps along the way. My writing was deeply informed by my father’s avocation as a fine art painter. Hours of watching him at the easel taught me that art is long, takes determination, and can be quietly exciting.
I’ve been writing poetry and fiction all my life. My most recent book, Gods of Water and Air, combines poems, essays, and a short play about the afterlife of dogs. Many pieces recall my southern California coastal hometown of San Pedro, a town full of European immigrants plying their fishing trades, among them a big Italian population, which may be what drew me to study and visit Italy.
An art history trip to study the Italian Renaissance inspired me to write essays on Italy. One was included in a wonderful anthology, Italy: A Love Story: Women Write About the Italian Experience (Seal Press).
My novel, The Renaissance Club, resulted from that Italian art experience. It’s a time travel story featuring a young art historian, whose specialty is the sculpture of the 17th century artist Gianlorenzo Bernini, and what happens when time bends and they meet. Fiery Seas Publishing will publish the book in January 2018.
I’m working on another story that also takes places in northern Italy—a place I can never seem to leave in my imagination. The Romantics involves an inherited cottage on the Ligurian coast, two sisters, and the ghost of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
My three other poetry collections are Earth Lessons, Femme au Chapeau, and a spoken word poetry CD, A God You Can Dance. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and a Silky Terrier and raise funds for nonprofit organizations.
I’m a member of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association, a marvelous writing community. If you write women’s fiction, check them out.
Short Bio for Media/Event Use:
Rachel Dacus is the author of Gods of Water and Air, a collection of poetry, prose, and drama, and the poetry collections Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, The Pedestal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. The Renaissance Club, her time travel novel involving the great Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini, is forthcoming in January 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing. Her fourth poetry collection, Arabesque, is forthcoming in August 2018 from FutureCycle Press.