MILL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, September 20, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — To write something of value, a writer must make the familiar unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar. A good novel or poem doesn't tell you what you expect to hear, but gives you new insights, new emotional angles, expressed in a way that is original or useful.
Maxine Chernoff is an acclaimed novelist and poet, and former chair of the creative writing program at San Francisco State University.
“Poetry memorializes and celebrates the impermanence of life and it’s the role of the poet to find language that can encapsulate that truth,” says Chernoff.
A writer for over 40 years, Chernoff started composing poetry in her late teens and early 20s, around the time of the Vietnam War.
“The events in our culture have always interested me,” says Chernoff, “as well as the personal insights you can discover from just the experience of being alive in contemporary culture, personally and particularly as a woman.”
Chernoff has published three fiction novels (A Boy in Winter, American Heaven and Plain Grief) three selections of short stories (Some of Her Friends That Year: New & Selected Stories, Signs of Devotion and Bop) and 15 volumes of poetry.
She says because she started in poetry, she has the ability to be concise and precise and visual, and those skills have carried over into her fiction.
“What I have to do is create more of a sense of a character's fullness and their relationship with other characters, which you don't have to worry about in a poem,” says Chernoff. “When I'm writing novels, the characters in my mind are like a second family. I live with the characters and get to know them. Some of them are problem children. You just never know where a story is going, just as you don't know really where a relationship is going. There is this empty future, and you fill it with things you don't always expect to happen, even if you're the person creating the characters.”
Before you can strike out on your own as a writer, you need to know what's come before you, what we've learned from those great writers, and how we can reshape it in a way that suits our moment and our particular voice. As a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State for over 20 years, Chernoff is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of talented artists.
“It's about creating a community of really smart readers to help them refine their own distinctive way of approaching writing,” says Chernoff. “Writing is a visual medium. It uses words to evoke images, so the more specific you can be with your images, the better your writing will be.”
CUTV News Radio will feature Maxine Chernoff in an interview with Jim Masters on September 24th at 12pm EDT
Listen to the show on BlogTalkRadio
If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389
Source: EIN Presswire