NBCC: Expanding the World of Literary Criticism
Thursday September 15, 2016
Writing about books—starting conversations about a novel, a poem, a literary career—combines passion with dedication. Five active literary and cultural critics, all members of the National Book Critics Circle board, discussed the art of writing about books. These panelists differed in background and experience; some write for legacy newspapers, others for online venues. All represented criticism as an engaging activity that challenges each to be perpetually in search of the new. The panel included Michael Miller, Jane Ciabattari, Michele Filgate, Kate Tuttle, and Walton Muyumba with moderator Tom Beer.
This was a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event.
Jane Ciabattari writes the Between the Lines column for BBC.com, a weekly column for the Literary Hub, and contributes regularly to NPR, the Boston Globe, and many other publications. She is VP/Online and a former president of the National Book Critics Circle and a member of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto. She is the author of the story collections, Stealing the Fire and California Tales. Find her on Twitter @janeciab
Michele Filgate is a contributing editor at Literary Hub and VP/Awards for the National Book Critics Circle. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, Salon, Interview Magazine, Buzzfeed, Poets & Writers, The Boston Globe, The Brooklyn Quarterly, Time Out New York, People, The Daily Beast, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vulture, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Bookslut, The Quarterly Conversation, The Brooklyn Rail, and more. She teaches creative nonfiction for The Sackett Street Writers' Workshop and Catapult. Find her on Twitter @readandbreathe
Michael Miller has held positions at the Village Voice Literary Supplement, Spin Magazine, and Time Out New York, where he was the literary editor and lead book critic from 2005 until 2010. He is currently an editor at Bookforum. Find him on Twitter @mchlmllr
Walton Muyumba is the author of The Shadow and the Act: Black Intellectual Practice, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism. His essays and reviews have appeared in Oxford American, The Chicago Tribune, The Crisis, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times, New Republic and at theatlantic.com, among other outlets. Muyumba is an associate professor of American and African Diasporic literature at Indiana University-Bloomington. Find him on Twitter @wmuyumba
Kate Tuttle writes on books for the Boston Globe. Her reviews, interviews, and essays have also appeared in Salon, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. A board member of the National Book Critics Circle, she also serves as director of the Decatur Writers Studio, a literary center based outside Atlanta. Find her on Twitter @katekilla
Tom Beer is the books and travel editor at Newsday, and president of the National Book Critics Circle. He was previously an editor at Out magazine. He has written for Time Out New York, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, and contributed to The Salon.com Readers' Guide to Contemporary Authors (Penguin, 2000). Find him on Twitter @TomBeerBooks.