Rachel Dacus


Rachel Abramson Dacus is a poet and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of three poetry books and a spoken word poetry CD. Dacus’ most recent book, Gods of Water and Air, combines poetry, prose, and drama. It follows two poetry collections, Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau.

Gods of Water and Air is a passionate exploration of personal transformation, delving into everything from reincarnation to growing up with an artist and rocket scientist father, to living in an immigrant community on the Pacific Ocean. One reviewer called the book “as deliciously diverse as it is spellbinding.”

Her poetry, essays, stories, and book reviews have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Drunken Boat, The Pedestal, Valaparaiso Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner, as well as in many poetry anthologies. She is at work on a novel of the great Baroque sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. An art history trip to study the Italian Renaissance also inspired essays, one of which is included in the anthology Italy: A Love Story: Women Write About the Italian Experience (Seal Press).
With a rocket engineer father who was also an accomplished painter and a mother who was a musician, Rachel’s creativity was ignited early. She works as a fundraising consultant to nonprofit organizations spanning the arts, social services, and hospitals.

Smashwords Interview

How do you approach cover design?
The best art I can't afford! As the daughter of a painter, I gravitate to paintings rather than photos, but it depends on the book. I negotiated the great grandson of Matisse down to my budget to obtain cover image rights for my poetry book FEMME AU CHAPEAU (title after the famous painting by Matisse, so what other cover image could I possibly use?). He was gracious and very, very French in his formality. I remain star-struck.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I'd have to cite all of Jane Austen's novels in my top five because I re-read them almost every year. Maybe almost all of them. Plus a book on what literary devices Austen used to great effect, including using the weather for plot turns. If I give Jane only one slot in the top 5, then I have room for the whole series of Oz books, Annie Dillard's AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD (and all her other works), Gerald Durrell's MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS (sorry, Lawrence, but on rereading THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET your brother Gerald's book won out for re-reads), and Anne LaMott's BIRD BY BIRD, which has saved my bacon more than once.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Rachel Dacus online

Where to buy in print


Femme au chapeau
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 9,850. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry
Rachel Dacus's poetry collection Femme au chapeau offers a realm of dazzling strangeness and beauty, addressing a wide range of subjects: from art, childhood, and beauty, to the tormented relationship between a father and daughter, the hardships of an immigrant fishing town, and the longing to have a child. One reviewer called it "thrilling, one-of-a-kind poetry".

Rachel Dacus' tag cloud