“Whether a writer expresses adoration or ambiguity about a place, and whether they do so overtly or subtly, they can help bring our attention back to the strange, fragile, threatened places we inhabit.”
An Interview with Ecotone Editor Anna Lena Phillips Bell,” Katherine O’Hara, North Carolina Writers’ Network

“The pleasure I take in square dancing is probably the same pleasure I take in writing poems in fixed forms—a structure that feels very physical. Poems, especially patterned ones, become part of our bodies when we express them physically. They become part of us and they change us.”
The Ghost of Form: An Interview with Anna Lena Phillips Bell,” Hope Fischbach, Southern Indiana Review

“When I’m wearing anything it’s a negotiation between not just me and the clothing, but me, the clothing, how it makes me feel, and what it might project about me. A lot of that is about being read as gendered—about performing gender in ways that people approve of or disapprove of, that elicit more or less comfort in others.”
A Writer’s Insight: Anna Lena Phillips Bell,” interview with Jake Zawlacki, the Southern Review

“To find out that, alongside the Piedmont blues and the folk music I loved, there was this whole world of oldtime Appalachian music — not the dressed-up, smoothed-out version from sixties folk, not the standardized, sentimentalized version from what I knew of bluegrass — I felt like somebody had been keeping a secret.”
Anna Lena Phillips Bell on Making New Songs from Old,” interview with GennaRose Nethercott, Southern Review of Books

“Our bodies are sustained, both physically and otherwise, by living systems and landscapes. That many of those living systems are under deep threat—from climate crisis, development, overuse and underappreciation—makes it all the more important to let place into creative work, to acknowledge both a source and a debt.”
3Q4: Anna Lena Phillips Bell,” the Sewanee Review


Anna Lena Phillips Bell,” the Sewanee Review Podcast

Poet Inspired By Roots, Meter (And Banjo),” Communique, WHQR

Tear Down Structures with Anna Lena Phillips Bell & Rachel Taube of Ecotone,” Write, Publish, and Shine podcast

Randall Kenan and Anna Lena Phillips Bell,” TK with James Scott podcast


“Anna Lena Phillips Bell’s first collection, Ornament, is, at the risk of sounding unfashionably effusive, a gift to our craft. It goes beyond the ornamental and stands instead as a testament of truly innovative American women’s poetry in form.”—Alexandra Oliver, Mezzo Cammin

“As the collection’s title suggests, Phillips Bell’s poems are intensely lyrical and elaborately patterned, bringing to mind the music of a dulcimer. Indeed, regional music is integral to the collection: throughout the book, the author invokes and directly references forms including Appalachian folksongs, bluegrass tunes, gospel music, and church hymns. . . . One definitely hopes to see more from the author of this beautiful and promising first book.”—Alix Anne Shaw, The Los Angeles Review

“These poems are so rooted in a sense of place that one can almost feel their feet dug down into the soil, grass tickling the ankles and warm summer air heavy with the scent of wet and green.”—Alistair Craft, Grist

To Make, Unmake, and Make Again,” Michele Sharpe, Tupelo Quarterly

Craft and Clarity and Range: Foy, Bell, Pinsky, Groom,” Stephen Kampa, Literary Matters

Review in Journal of Appalachian Studies by Laura Schaffer (login required)

Review and book portrait by Anita Olivia Koester at Fork and Page

Review by Natalie Patterson in the Salemite


UNCW Literary Journal Honored for Consistent Excellency,” UNCW

17 Wilmington authors for your reading list,” Star News

Phillips Bell Promotes Poetry in Region,” Wilma

Ten North Carolina Poets, from the Coast to the Mountains,” Chris Tonelli,

UNCW writer honored as an NC distinguished poet,” Star News

Writing Roots: Anna Lena Phillips Bell explores place through poetry,” Chrissy Hennessey, Wilma

Time to Write,” Lori Wilson, Wilma

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