ARABESQUE takes its title from images: the looped swirls notating language, and the long toe-to-fingertip curve of a ballerina’s stance. These poems point in all of life’s opposing directions: love and loss, birth and death, family and loneliness, sensuality and discipline—using the fragility of language to find the balance point in these opposites and to illuminate a direction forward.
“Rachel Dacus takes us on a sinuous dance in Arabesque, one that spirals through the world of travel, art, love, and loss.” — Barbara Crooker, Les Fauves and Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems
Maria Rouphail’s review of Arabesque in The Pedestal Magazine. Having my poetry compared to Rita Dove’s is exhilarating!
GODS OF WATER AND AIR. A collection of poetry, prose, and drama
“Dacus’ book will invite you to journey with her through adventures in art museums, pie baking, and eagle-spotting.” – Jeannine Hall Gailey, She Returns to the Floating World.
“ In Gods of Water and Air, the humor and irreverence of a 1960’s rebel mix with feminist, expressionist, and lyrical motifs as the author openly explores her feelings, relationships, and spiritual musings. — Ann Wehrman.
These poems unravel life’s rich uncertainties — love, grief, and joy contained in concise, often formally framed, poetry by turns contemplative, narrative, and ultimately filled with praise — of the miracles large and small, and even the tragedies — all the astonishing enterprise of being alive.
“This is a book to relish for such insights, by a poet clearly up for the ride, and not afraid of the risks.” — Rhina Espaillat, Where Horizons Go
Additional reviews of Femme au chapeau: The Pedestal, Smartish Pace
Cover image: “Femme au chapeau” by Henri Matisse (used with permission of Matisse Estate).
“In Earth Lessons, Rachel Dacus composes poetry that is layered as richly as layers in the earth’s crust. Her ability to write well-crafted poetry that also has strong elements of sound makes the reader wish for the chance to hear her read in person. The voice in each poem manifests as a natural creature interacting with the natural world in terms of specifics woven by poetic figure and imagery.” — Kay Day, Killing Earl
Readings of Poems and Songs
Carefully crafted meditations framed by well-chosen music and sound-effects to create a constantly changing aural landscape.
“Refreshing little bursts of thought… yes it’s spoken poetry but not artificial or self-conscious… it is more like the inner monologues we usually have going during the day, but always with a twist that elevates the observation to find a new meaning in the most ordinary things…. widely varied, some of them have light sound effects and music, some work better than others, but the variety keeps it fresh with repeated listenings. Listen while commuting, on an exercise walk, etc. as well as at home… A booklet in the CD has all the words to the poems—If you like Billy Collins or Rumi, you’ll like this.” – Henry S. Mindlin