Francesca Bell’s WHAT SMALL SOUND receives a Starred Review from Shelf Awareness!

Francesca Bell (Bright Stain) writes poems that chime like the bell of her own name: bright but resonant, sharp but still familiar, lush and likely to echo long after its initial strike. What Small Sound is Bell’s second collection, and it brings together a haunting yet beautiful set of poems centered on the losses–or potential for them–that encircle her: the loss of her hearing; the mental health concerns that threaten the loss of her daughter; and the loss, too, of a general sense of safety, wrought by Covid-19, parenting, and aging. Despite these losses, and the fear and heaviness that accompany them, Bell writes poems that insist pain is only one part of every story.