Maxine Chernoff

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Maxine Chernoff
Maxine Chernoff in front of her house
Maxine Chernoff in front of her house
Chicago, Illinois
  • Poet
  • editor
  • professor
  • author
Notable worksAmerican Heaven, Some of Her Friends That Year, Signs of Devotion, Bop, Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin, New American Writing
Notable awards1985 Carl Sanburg Award
SpousePaul Hoover

Maxine Chernoff (born 1952) is an American novelist, writer, poet, academic and literary magazine editor.


She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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 ten books of poetry, including The Turning (2008) and Among the Names (2005), both from Apogee Press.

Chernoff's 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 Paul Hoover, she has translated The Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin (Omnidawn Press, 2008) which won the 2009 PEN Translation Prize.

As of 2013, she lives in Mill Valley, California.



  • A Boy in Winter (Crown Publishing, 1999; Harper Flamingo Australia, 2000)
  • American Heaven (Coffee House Press, 1996), a finalist for the Bay Area Book

Reviewers Award

  • Plain Grief (Summit, 1991; available as e-book from, 2001)

Short stories[edit]



  • Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin, co-translated with Paul Hoover; (Omnidawn, 2008)
  • New American Writing (with Paul Hoover), (1986) — present)


  • 1985 Carl Sandburg Award
  • 1985 PEN New Books Award
  • 1986 Friends of American Writers' Award
  • 1986 LSU Southern Review Fiction Award
  • 1993 Sun-Times Fiction Prize
  • 1988 CCLM Editors' Award
  • 2002 Marin Arts Council Fellowship
  • 1996 and 2002 BABRA finalist
  • 2009 PEN Translation Award
  • 5 Illinois Arts Council Fellowships
  • 2013 NEA Poetry Fellowship



External links[edit]