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Maxine Chernoff

Born: 1952 in Chicago, Illinois
Pen Name: None

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

Biography: 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.

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

A boy in winter :
ISBN: 0609605224 OCLC: New York :

Crown Publishers, New York : ©1999.

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.

A Vegetable Emergency

Beyond Baroque Foundation 1977

American heaven :
ISBN: 1566890411 OCLC: Minneapolis :

Coffee House Press, Minneapolis : ©1996.

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: Berkeley, Calif. :

Apogee Press, Berkeley, Calif. : 2005.

Back to the Past (Attractions)
ISBN: 0809236877 OCLC:

Contemporary Books

Bop :
ISBN: 0394755227 OCLC: New York :

Vintage Books, New York : 1987, ©1986.

ISBN: 0998859435 OCLC:

Subito Press 2017

Evolution of the Bridge
ISBN: 1844710386 OCLC: Cambridge [U.K.] :

Salt Publishing Cambridge [U.K.] : 2014

ISBN: 1933996404 OCLC:

Counterpath Press 2014

It's Colossal (Attractions)
ISBN: 0809236885 OCLC: Chicago, Ill. :

Contemporary Books Chicago, Ill. : 1994

Japan /
ISBN: 0939691019 OCLC: Bolinas, Calif. :

Avenue B, Bolinas, Calif. : ©1987.

Leap year day :
ISBN: 0929968115 OCLC: Chicago :

Another Chicago Press ; Chicago : ©1990.

  New faces of 1952 /
ISBN: 0878861246 OCLC: Ithaca, N.Y. :

Ithaca House, Ithaca, N.Y. : ©1985.

Plain grief /
ISBN: 0671724630 OCLC: New York :

Summit Books, New York : ©1991.

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: New York :

Simon & Schuster, New York : ©1993.

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: Minneapolis, MN :

Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, MN : ©2002.

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: Berkeley, Calif. :

Apogee Press, Berkeley, Calif. : 2008.

To Be Read in the Dark
ISBN: 1890650617 OCLC: Richmond, Calif. :

Omnidawn Richmond, Calif. : 2011

Under the Music: Collected Prose Poems
ISBN: 1941196853 OCLC:

Mad Hat, Inc. 2019

Utopia TV store :
ISBN: 0916328139 OCLC: Chicago :

Yellow Press ; Chicago : ©1979.

Vespers :
ISBN: 0877458553 OCLC: 51476839

University of Iowa Press, Iowa City : ©2003.

ISBN: 184861196X OCLC: Bristol, U.K. :

Shearsman Books Bristol, U.K. : 2012

World :
ISBN: 1280952849 OCLC: 814504009

Salt Publishing 2001.

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.