I forgot to tell you

Matrix, Issue 84
The greatest strength of Gillian Harding-Russell’s newest collection of poetry, I forgot to tell you, lies in the poet’s delicate manipulation of the shifting scales, spaces and thresholds that limit human perception. Alternately sublime and intricate, Harding-Russell’s optic shuttles between the telescope and the microscope. While these poems often mobilize celestial metaphors to communicate emotional immensity (“The heart is a black hole in the electric trail of stars”), their linguistic precision also works to isolate and probe the most fragile tissues of everyday life, in the “hidden flash / of DNA” and the “gold / connecting synapse to synapse / startling thought / alive.” Whether she’s writing about galaxies or gluons, Harding-Russell consistently takes everyday human pleasures, fears, and losses as her reference point. The result is a collection both intimate and honest, in which stars and cells alike assume startlingly human dimensions. — R. Jayne Hildebrand