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Without

Overview


Poetry. The series of poems in Maxine Chernoff's WITHOUT are elegiac brushstrokes, each somewhat feathery and brushing in more than one direction, which creates tension and unexpected arrivals as well as departures: someone or something is missing. Parts of the world are wavering and parts have disappeared. What remains is treated in the subtle management of the lines without a hint of punctuation, which allows for "waves" of attention, as meaning rises and subsides. The emotional impact is powerful, as are the ...
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Overview


Poetry. The series of poems in Maxine Chernoff's WITHOUT are elegiac brushstrokes, each somewhat feathery and brushing in more than one direction, which creates tension and unexpected arrivals as well as departures: someone or something is missing. Parts of the world are wavering and parts have disappeared. What remains is treated in the subtle management of the lines without a hint of punctuation, which allows for "waves" of attention, as meaning rises and subsides. The emotional impact is powerful, as are the recognitions, such as "when darkness loses / its waiting mirror / and tuning forks / stand in for solace" and "readers asleep / mouthing their dreams / fears of whispering / become a creed / until life blurs / like any lens / that fails at attention." There's a sense of meaning passing with the solidity and darkness of time.

"The protagonist of these fifty brilliantly condensed elliptical poems never feels sorry for herself: she knows only too well that 'no currency / buys your / erasure.' And she can even smile at the thought that 'maybe you'll freeze / trying to forget / how things were / before they weren't....' Indeed, one thing Maxine Chernoff is never without is an unfailing tact—a dazzling inventiveness that distances the pain and transforms it into verbal pleasure. As in Emily Dickinson's lyric, 'After great pain a formal feeling comes.'"—Marjorie Perloff

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848611962
  • Publisher: Shearsman Books
  • Publication date: 1/15/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 86
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Maxine Chernoff was born in Chicago, Illinois, in the year of 1952, where she grew up, and attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is an American novelist, writer, poet, academic and literary magazine editor. Maxine Chernoff is a professor and Chair of the Creative Writing program at San Francisco State University. With her husband, Paul Hoover, she edits the long-running literary journal NEW AMERICAN WRITING. She is the author of six books of fiction and nine books of poetry, most recently WITHOUT (Shearsman Books, 2012), TO BE READ IN THE DARK (Omnidawn, 2011), THE TURNING (Apogee Press, 2008), and AMONG THE NAMES (Apogee Press, 2005). She currently lives in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and three children.
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