The Turning by Maxine Chernoff
Maxine Chernoff's new collection The Turning brings language to a turning-point of transformative meaning, a melting-point where the poet discovers that "Heat makes us human." This moment involves a turning toward the Other, whose voice is consistently cited in, and invited into, Chernoff's lines. At one point, a dialogue between Heidegger and Arendt is reawakened, and at another, the iterations of an impossible Novel are given free play. At all points, the voice of innocence is fused mysteriously with the voice of experience, in breath-turns that are at once politically committed and poetically candescent. Here is a poetry responsive to the contradictions of our time, offering "the utopia of words/in a region of want."