Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Maxine Chernoff  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1952 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Maxine Chernoff on San Francisco State University Website --
-- Website --
-- Wikipedia --
-- Maxine Chernoff on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Maxine Chernoff was born and raised in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Maxine Chernoff is an American novelist, writer, poet, academic and literary magazine editor.Currenlty, she is a professor and Chair of the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University and lives in Mill Valley, California.


Maxine Chernoff has been recognized with the Independent Democrat Award and as an Illinois Arts Council Fellow. She has also received the Carl Sandburg Award.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes) '''Contact Publisher ''' Robert Cornfield Literacy Agency Robert Cornfield 145 West 79th Street New York, New York 10024 212-874-2465

Selected Titles At Your Library

A boy in winter
ISBN: 0732266297. OCLC Number: 222708689

HarperCollins,. .

A boy in winter :
ISBN: 0609605224. OCLC Number: 40912636

Crown Publishers,. .

A family drama in Chicago where a boy kills a neighbor's son with a bow and arrow. An accident or something more complex? The neighbor was having an affair with the boy's mother.

American heaven :
ISBN: 1566890411. OCLC Number: 34112809

Coffee House Press,. .

The friendship of two women who meet in the laundry room of an apartment building in Chicago. One is Irena, a Polish mathematician who emigrated to the U.S. and is caring for an old jazz musician, the other is Elizabeth from New England who is caring for a sick gangster.

Among the names
ISBN: 0974468789. OCLC Number: 60460162

Apogee Press,. .

Bop :
ISBN: 0918273196. OCLC Number: 13214525

Coffee House Press,. .

Bop :
ISBN: 0394755227. OCLC Number: 15588773

Vintage Books,. .

Japan /
ISBN: 0939691019. OCLC Number: 17534838

Avenue B,. .

Leap year day :
ISBN: 1893032078. OCLC Number: 43244838

Jensen/Daniels,. .

Leap year day :
ISBN: 0929968115. OCLC Number: 23265495

Another Chicago Press ;. .

New faces of 1952 /
ISBN: 0878861246. OCLC Number: 11398288

Ithaca House,. .

Plain grief /
ISBN: 0671724630. OCLC Number: 23694149

Summit Books,. .

When Sarah Holmes announces she wants a divorce, her daughter and a girlfriend run away from home, Sarah and her lover fly to California to find them, and as they wait for the girls, along with Sarah's sister, all of them must come to terms with the changes in their lives.

Signs of devotion :
ISBN: 067179812X. OCLC Number: 27265773

Simon & Schuster,. .

Stories of familiar strangers with quiet yearnings for such things as a more meaningful vacation, greater intimacy, signs and symbols of acceptance, understanding, and love.

Some of her friends that year :
ISBN: 1566891272. OCLC Number: 48473876

Coffee House Press,. .

Highly regarded for her deft and humorous portrayals of the dark side of modern living, Maxine Chernoff's latest collection is a droll, poetic field guide to the endearing and troubling aspects of human behavior. Chernoff fans will relish the fifteen new stories, and new readers will discover a wonderful assemblage of Chernoff's likeable and contemplative characters. With the precision of a poet and the astuteness of a sociologist, Chernoff continues to establish herself as a master of the short story with this excellent collection, which includes stories from Bop and Signs of Devotion.

The turning
ISBN: 0978766741. OCLC Number: 238899746

Apogee Press,. .

Utopia TV store :
ISBN: 0916328139. OCLC Number: 4883447

Yellow Press ;. .

Vespers :
ISBN: 0877458553. OCLC Number: 51476839

University of Iowa Press,. .

World :
ISBN: 1280952849. OCLC Number: 814504009

Salt Publishing. .

World, Maxine Chernoff's first full-length collection of poetry in ten years, explores the borders of personal and group experience, public and private language. From brief riffs on jazz to prose poem dialogues to long sequences about Emerson's essays and the problematic relationship of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe (World), she examines the range of poetic possibility in linguistic cuts and connections that surprise the mind and ear. Like her more recent previous collections, New Faces of 1952, Japan, and Leap Year Day, World is written in a mixture of styles and tones from the sonic, terse lyrics of the sequence World and the ten poems based on Emerson's essays to the vernacular of the prose poems, which are lively, dialogue-based explorations of relationships. Part One of World consists of individual poems that examine the relation of language to reality at the seams of representation.; From collisions of the language of the personal and public in such poems as Todorov at Ellis Island, Politics, Transactional and Next Song to poems like Nature Morte and The North Sea that interrogate the relation of the world as object to the world as subject, Chernoff is interested in the meaning of the poetic act and its repercussions. Nothing is solid or sealed in these poems but rather in flux, nervous movement between the certainty of intention and the imperfection of words. Part Two, World, is a poem in twenty-one movements, an account of the relationship between Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stielitz in all of its complex loyalties. How can I be jealous of a place? the aged Stieglitz asks his reluctant partner and muse. How her own art and the New Mexico landscape vied for her affections is the story of their pained love. The poems, fragmented and abstract, explore the landscape of their long relationship. Part Three appropriates the language of some of Emerson's famous essays to discuss the American thinker in essential, stripped-down poems. Part Four of World consists of prose poems, many of them dialogues reminiscent of short Pinteresque plays.; The tension and illogic of human desires are examined in confrontations between two unnamed speakers, often a man and woman. These stark and comic prose poems are the latest of Chernoff's work in this genre, which she has been exploring for nearly thirty years. A strong and varied collection, World is certain to please new readers and reassure those familiar with her work of her consistent project.