What some folk have said about my book so far ….
Beth Dahill in her exciting first book offers a “portrait of my life in poems” as she journeys to “discover the truth of who I really am”. Her verbal portrait encompasses a wide and exhilarating myriad of perspectives – including emotions, bodies, relationships, spirituality and taboos – ranging from rage to hope, darkness to beauty, the Goddess to food, magic to doubt, the familiar and the unfamiliar.
She explores poetically – mercilessly at times, but always deeply, curiously and authentically – what it means to be beautiful, but primarily what it means to be human, to be a woman in every aspect of her being, in all the glory, despair, darkness, doubts, challenges, exquisiteness, delight and magnificence.
I was affected viscerally by the power and rawness as well as the innocence of Beth Dahill’s use of words. This is a collection of prose, poems, sayings and images to be dipped into, pondered upon, affected by, enthralled with, and/or transformed through.
As a first collection this is at times therapy as well as poetry but always with an exciting and powerful playfulness and command of words.
Dr Lynne Sedgmore, CBE –
Currently Honorary Senior Research Associate for the Institute of Education at UCL. She holds a doctorate in spiritual leadership as well as being a published poet, healer and leadership developer, supporting the growth of women into their true power and potential.
With ‘Nobody told me what beautiful looked like’ Beth makes both a tender and vivid contribution to poetry as excavation. In her metaphorical and autobiographical digging she inhabits herself in a way that very few of us have the courage to do as she unearths and illuminates her ‘savage / dirt and grit and stone’ in an ultimately redemptive collection, demonstrating in full view how to seek and administer ‘the hardest kindness’: deep love of self. ‘Keep polishing’, she encourages. Only then will you mend your broken memory that you are born beautiful.
This is a critically important message in a media-obsessed world that continually forces false and idealised notions of beauty down our throats. Not only this, but what is inspiring about this collection is the author’s dedication to her own internal weaving. She stands before us in her prime of life, in her middle place of liminality, and demonstrates perfectly the importance of finding value within as a prerequisite to being most fully who we are. Let that be a lesson to us all.
Rachel, Communications Director
‘Nobody told me what beautiful looked like’ represents, for me, a most extraordinary debut into the world of poetry and literature. At once hot, sinuous and steamy, yet cool, delicate and clear.
This is hugely brave, bold, unabashed writing that delights as much in plumbing the depths and darkness of human experience as celebrating the highest highs and our most fundamental truths. It is utterly now, of the moment and thoroughly modern whilst resting solidly on foundations of centuries-old myth and spirituality and, as such, I’ve no doubt it is here to stay. It is a wake-up call to dive deeper into the meaning and into the mystery.
As Beth says: ‘Words fail, poetry begins’ and words fail me to describe just how essential this new collection really is.
Jim, Civil Servant
Wow!!! Beth I have just devoured your book of poems. I feel inspired and amazed. I feel overwhelmed by the journey I have just taken with you.
Wendy, Counselling Trainee