MadHat Press

Light and Clay by Maxine Chernoff

Praise for Maxine Chernoff and Light and Clay: New and Selected Poems

From the melancholy, pandemic-inflected New Poems (“Can meaning take its storied place on suddenly vacant shores?”) to the vatic lyricism of To Be Read in the Dark (“the smiling assassin / isn’t a dream / what is embodied / asks us to listen”), to the meditations on gifts and giving in Among the Names (“among men / who find in the taking / the gift they seek / (use = accumulation”), this gorgeous and overdue volume amply demonstrates the amazing depth and breadth of Maxine Chernoff’s subjects, structures, approaches, language, and empathy.
—Sharon Mesmer

In Maxine Chernoff’s new collection of excellent earlier and brilliant melodic new poems, beautiful staccato images follow one another in short lines that dance down the page in a magical stream. The poems are alive with surreal vigor, and surprises abound. In their formality and artfulness of design, they are also pleasantly unpredictable. The natural world fascinates Chernoff (birds, a leaf, a raindrop), and her insight into a wide range of other subjects is always rendered  with the same lyrical intensity and poignancy she brings to the natural world.
—Clarence Major

Chernoff translates ashes to clay, and life to light, in this seafarer epic that navigates both land and sea with wisdom. She is at home in her vision but at ease in the company of Lorine Niedecker, William Carlos Williams, Robinson Jeffers and Mina Loy.
—Andrei Codrescu, author of Too Late for Nightmares: New Poems

Maxine Chernoff is a wordsmith par excellence. Her new collection covers political turmoil, pandemic anxiety, and matters of the heart and body, while finding language for our fractious times. Chernoff’s poems are indeed “lacing the world in / tangled sound and / string.”
—May-Lee Chai, author of Useful Phrases for Immigrants and Tomorrow in Shanghai: Stories

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Madhat, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-952335-70-9


MadHat Press is a leading publisher of unique and vital contemporary poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and criticism.

MadHat Press seeks to foster the work of writers and poets: explosive, lyrical, passionate, deeply wrought voices that stretch the boundaries of language, narrative and image, vital and enduring literary voices that sing on the page as well as in the mind.

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