Phot Credit: Rebecca Evans

Rebecca Evans

b. 1966

Current City, State, Country

Star, Idaho, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Biography

Rebecca Evans’ poetry reflects, among many things: fractured relationships. This fracturing influences every subsequent relationship—carrying scars and wounds throughout one’s life. Evans weaves disability, domestic violence, and a fight for survival throughout her narratives, hoping to start conversations, create awareness, compassion, and tolerance. She hopes to inform what it means to navigate this world as a woman, a Jew, a single mom, dwelling in broken body and spirit. She hopes to bust beyond borders and boundaries, and, mostly, hopes to help others feel less alone in their own experiences.

Evans is a memoirist, poet, and essayist. In addition to writing, she teaches Creative Nonfiction at Boise State University and mentors high school girls in the juvenile system. In her spare time, she co-hosts a radio program, Writer to Writer, offering a space for writers to offer tips on craft and life. She’s also disabled, a Veteran, a Jew, a gardener, a mother, a worrier, and more. She has a passion for sharing difficult stories about vulnerability woven with mysticism.

Evans earned two MFAs, one in creative nonfiction, the other in poetry, both from University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. She lives in Idaho with her sons, her Newfoundlands, and her Calico.

Her poems and essays have appeared in Narratively, The Rumpus, Entropy Literary Magazine, War, Literature & the Arts, The Limberlost Review, and more. She’s co-edited an anthology of poems, when there are nine, a tribute to the life and achievements of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Moon Tide Press). Her full-length poetry collection, Tangled by Blood, will be available in 2023 (Moon Tide Press).

What is the relationship between Judaism and/or Jewish culture and your poetry?

Oh! This relationship. This notion of “being” a Jew and a poet at the same time. I wasn’t raised
in an observant home. I like to say that I was raised “confused” and “dysfunctional.” And, by
definition, those would be generous sentiments.
I’m Jewish because my mother is Jewish and her mother before her. My observation and
understanding of Jewish culture have proven a slow and steady brew for me that has spanned
decades.
I’d include “Kabbalist” as an additional identity tag. Kabbalah holds the mystical, mysterious
interpretations of the Talmud, Torah, and ancient texts. Over the years, my study and practice as
a Kabbalist have pushed me to seek meaning between the lines of what is written, extend to
understand what is left unspoken, and search for symbolism in imagery.
You know, poetry.
I meditate on how this aligns and feels within my physical body.
I see myself, no, believe myself a vessel. A bag of skin housing my soul.
If I believe this, then every thought, word, or deed must be filtered through this lens.
And if I believe this as my truth, then every movement—gardening, roasting, bed-making, sock-
matching, driving, parenting—should be attempted with the intention to honor my journey as a
Jewish-Kabbalistic-kosher-keeping-single-parenting-disabled human.
I’ve tried to create awareness before reaction, before spoken word. So how could my Jewish-
ness-es not find infusion into my writings?
I’ve always approached writing as a method to make sense of my life. While “making sense”
(what does THAT mean, anyway?), I hope to find meaning in the hardship and happiness,
lessons in the rejections and battles.
It feels as though my art begins much like archeology –digging or picking away a scab or
hangnail or nagging image – penning in my journal, trailing one word and then another down the
page. All the while, absent of the editor or judge or witness. Just me and me.
Sometimes, in this journaling, I might discover a trinket that has helped me understand me, or
helped slow the bleeding of some deep wound. If I do AND if I’m brave, I’ll offer the piece for
submission – with the hope that it will be received as a gift – one heart to another. Perhaps the
salve in my words might alleviate another of their own suffering. Or perhaps help someone else
feel less alone.
In Jewish culture, one might call this a mitzvah – a good deed. Or maybe, gemilut hasadim – acts
of loving kindness. All acts that are central to Torah teaching.
Does the behavior need defining or a term?
What matters most is the lack of division – between me, the Jewish-Kabbalist and me, the Poet. I
cannot escape what I am built of – the mystical and mysterious marinades in my thoughts, stirs
into soil beneath my feet, stumbles from my tongue when I over-offer advice.
This lens of mine informs every word on the page, perhaps more than I know in the moment of
penning. Perhaps more than I might ever truly understand.

Published Works

Tangled by Blood (Moon Tide Press, 2023)
when there are nine (Moon Tide Press, 2022)
Abrazos & Letters from the Self to the World (DoveTales, 2021)
Poetic Bond X (Willowdown Books, 2020)
Hope for Recovery (Brown-Tinker Books, 2019)
Our World, Your Place (Willowdown Books, 2018)
Take a Mind Trip (Scribes Valley Publishing, 2018)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading

Current Title

Poet, Essayist, Warrior

Education

University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe, MFA Poetry (August 2021)
University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe, MFA Creative Nonfiction Writing (August 2019)
Boise State University, Major:  BA Engl – Emphasis Writing (May 2017)
Boise State University, Minor:  Psychology (May 2017)
College of Western Idaho, Major:  AA Liberal Fine Arts (Summer 2016)
College of Western Idaho, Major:  AA English (Summer 2016)
National Assoc. Poetic Therapy, Facilitation Cert (still pending)
International Professional Empowerment Coach (IPEC):  Completed 2003
Personal Trainer/Flexibility Instructor (ACE and NASM): 1997 & 1998
University of Maryland, RAF Upper Heyford, Major:  Exercise Science
United States Air Force Community College & Technical Training:   Flight Data Coordination & Management

Subject Matter

Genre