Creative Writing Chair and Professor Maxine Chernoff’s latest book of poetry celebrates the here and now of life, how people take in emotions, objects and scenes as they appear or are built.
Here (Counterpath Press) explores a method of expansiveness, in which Chernoff writes “the longest sentences I can imagine, almost as a syntactic exercise in sentence-length and rhythms,” she says in her author’s statement for her 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Chernoff’s prose poetry addresses subjects such as public commemoration and war, the death of a friend and the distinct mood of love in relation to one’s environment.
Chernoff is the author of six books of fiction and 13 books of poetry. Of Among the Names, Cole Swenson said, “Exploring complexities of ‘the gift,’ Chernoff’s is an economy of the uncanny — each exchange is strikingly new.”
Chernoff’s recent books of poetry include Without, To Be Read in the Dark, A House in Summer and The Turning. Her collection of stories, Signs of Devotion, was a New York Times Notable Book of 1993. Both her novel American Heaven and her book of short stories, Some of Her Friends That Year, were finalists for the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. With Professor Paul Hoover, she translated The Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin, which received the 2009 Pen USA Translation Award. Chernoff edits the long-running and award-winning journal New American Writing, an annual anthology funded in part by the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. She joined SF State in 1994.
Chernoff will read from Here at The Poetry Center on May 1, with Gillian Conoley of Sonoma State University.