Francesca Bell’s WHAT SMALL SOUND reviewed by Colorado State University

Many of the poems in Bell’s second full-length book explore suffering and sadness through a very personal lens: terrifying moments of objectification and sexual violation; the desolation and isolation that accompanies hearing loss; and the immutable terror of watching one’s child lose her will to live. Bell’s book feels unique, however, in the extent to which she stresses just how fortunate we are to experience those kinds of suffering: how our world could be ended in one catastrophic moment, our opportunity to suffer—and then move past the suffering—taken away by a gun or a forest fire.