NBCC Celebrates Small Press Month, March 30 at NYU Bookstore

By Jane Ciabattari

The National Book Critics Circle celebrates Small Press Month 2011 with a panel discussion moderated by Library Journal's Barbara Hoffert (above)  at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, at the NYU Bookstore, 726 Broadway, New York, NY 10003. The public may call (212) 998-4667 for additional information.

Moderated by NBCC board member Barbara Hoffert, Editor of Library Journal's “Prepub Alert” feature, the panel will discuss the unique challenges that face the critics who review small-press books. Joining Ms. Hoffert will be John Reed, NBCC board member and Book Review Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, plus freelance critics, small-press supporters, and NBCC members Tim W. Brown, John Madera, and John Deming.

One important issue the panel will confront is the declining number of newspaper and magazine pages devoted to reviewing books generally and small-press books in particular. Helping to fill this void is the burgeoning number of online review outlets, as well as intellectual and academic journals, both new and old, that are striving to keep the small-press tradition alive. The panelists are critics, essayists, editors, novelists, and poets who are dedicated to preserving the small press and to keeping the critical conversation going among writers, critics, and readers.

Small Press Month is a nationwide celebration highlighting the valuable work produced by independent publishers. Held annually in March, Small Press Month raises awareness about the need for broader venues of literary expression, showcasing some of the most diverse, exciting, and significant voices being published today.



Barbara Hoffert (moderator) is Editor of Library Journal's popular “Prepub Alert” feature, which previews major book releases four months in advance of publication. She was president of the National Book Critics Circle for three years, having been a board member for six years, and she was chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Association) division of the American Library Association. In 2006, she won ALA-RUSA’s Louis Shores’ Greenwood Publishing Group award for excellence in reviewing.

John Reed has seen his work published in Art in America, Open City, Artnet, Artforum, Paper Magazine, New York Press, Time Out New York, BOMB Magazine, Playboy, and elsewhere. He’s the author of the novels A Still Small Voice (Delacorte), The Whole (MTV/Simon & Schuster), Snowball’s Chance (Roof), All the World’s a Grave: A New Play by William Shakespeare (Penguin/Plume), and the recent Tales of Woe (MTV Press). A member of the NBCC board, he is an Associate Creative Writing Professor at New School University and the Book Review Editor of The Brooklyn Rail.

Tim W. Brown is the author of four novels, Deconstruction Acres, Left of the Loop, Walking Man, and Second Acts (which won the 2010 London Book Festival Award for General Fiction). His reviews have appeared in Rain Taxi Review of Books, Small Press Review, The Bloomsbury Review, American Book Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and numerous other journals. From 2004-2009, he served on the board of the Small Press Center, and he is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, specializing in reviewing small-press publications. He earns his living as a writer at Bloomberg LP.

John Madera edits the blog Big Other, a forum on contemporary writing and culture, and the journal The Chapbook Review. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he is published widely in print and online, most recently in The Brooklyn Rail, The Collagist, The Believer, Opium Magazine, Rain Taxi Review of Books, and The Prairie Journal: A Magazine of Canadian Literature, and forthcoming in The Review of Contemporary Fiction. He is editing a collection of essays on the craft of writing.

John Deming is Editor in Chief of Coldfront Magazine, which covers contemporary poetry and lyricism. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and his own poems and reviews have appeared in Boston Review, Verse Daily, The Best American Poetry blog, POOL, American Poetry Journal and elsewhere. Since its inception in 2006, Coldfront has made a special effort to cover work published by small presses and has published reviews of more than 400 small-press books.