Board of Directors

The National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors is elected each year, with participants serving three-year terms. Contact information, full board member bios, and committee lists are below. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page before contacting board members with NBCC-related questions.

ATTENTION PUBLISHERS: Please see guidelines and information on submitting titles.

Board Members

David Varno, President

davidvarno@bookcritics.org

David Varno is the fiction reviews editor at Publishers Weekly and a freelance critic. He received an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University and his writing has appeared in BOMB, the Brooklyn Rail, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Electric Literature, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Newsday, On the Seawall, Paste, Tin House, Words Without Borders, and other publications. David has served as Fiction Chair and VP/Technology. His term ends in 2022.

Colette Bancroft , VP Secretary

bancroft.colette72@gmail.com

Colette Bancroft has been the book editor at the Tampa Bay Times since 2007 and has received several journalism awards for her reviews and articles. She also directs the annual Times Festival of Reading, which presents 40 to 50 authors to 5,000 attendees. She is the editor of and a contributor to the short story anthology Tampa Bay Noir (Akashic 2020). Her current term on the NBCC Board ends in 2023.

Gregg Barrios, VP Diversity and Inclusion

greggbarrios@bookcritics.org

Gregg Barrios is a playwright, poet, and journalist. He is a 2013 USC Annenberg Getty Fellow, and serves on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. He was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters this year. He is the 2015 Fall Visiting Writer at Our Lady of the Lake University. His work has appeared in Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, Film Quarterly, San Francisco Chronicle, and Andy Warhol’s Interview. He is a former book editor of the San Antonio Express-News. He has received a CTG-Mark Taper Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Grant, and a 2013 Artist Foundation Grant for his theater work. His play Ship of Fools about Texas writer Katherine Anne Porter premieres this year in San Antonio’s Overtime Theater. He is collaborating with actor and filmmaker James Franco on a book of his experimental work in poetry and film. His current term on the board ends in 2021.

Jane Ciabattari, VP Events

janeciab@gmail.com

Jane Ciabattari is a former NBCC president, a regular contributor to BBC Culture and The Literary Hub, and author of the story collection Stealing the Fire. Her book reviews and cultural criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, NPR, Bookforum, Paris Review, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Poets & Writers Magazine, among others. She is a member of the Writers Grotto, on advisory boards of The Story Prize, the Bay Area Book Festival, and Lit Camp, a Pushcart Prize contributing editor, and a co-founder of the Flash Fiction Collective, a San Francisco-based reading series. Her current term on the NBCC Board ends in 2023.

Tara Wanda Merrigan, VP Communications & Tech

tarawandamerrigan@gmail.com

Tara Wanda Merrigan is a Philadelphia-based essayist and a class of 2019 Emerging Critics Fellow. Her literary criticism and reportage, which often examines the intersection of literature and politics, has appeared online at The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Hyperallergic, Literary Hub, The Millions, etc., etc. Her term ends in 2022.

Carlin Romano, VP Grants

cromano@bookcritics.org

Carlin Romano is critic-at-large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Ursinus College. His current term on the NBCC board term ends in 2022.

Richard Z. Santos, VP Membership

rzsantos1@gmail.com

Richard Z. Santos is a writer and teacher in Austin, TX. His debut novel, Trust Me, is out now from Arte Público Press. His work has appeared in multiple venues, including Texas Monthly, Kirkus Reviews, The Rumpus, Cosmonauts Avenue, Nimrod, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and many more. He can be found at www.richardzsantos.com. His current term on the board ends in 2021.

Michael Schaub, VP Online

mschaubtx@gmail.com

Michael Schaub is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to NPR, The Los Angeles Times, and Men’s Journal. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and other publications. He lives in Austin, Texas. His current term on the NBCC board ends in 2022.

Marion Winik, VP Treasurer

maliwali@aol.com

Longtime All Things Considered commentator (1991-2006) Marion Winik is the host of The Weekly Reader radio show and podcast. She reviews books for Newsday, People, Kirkus Review and other venues. She is the author of First Comes Love, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead and seven other books. Her monthly column at BaltimoreFishbowl.com has received the “Best Column” and “Best Humorist” awards from Baltimore Magazine, and her essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Sun and many other publications. She is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore. More info at marionwinik.com. Her current term on the Board ends in 2022.

Jacob Appel

jacobmappel@gmail.com

Jacob M. Appel teaches writing and bioethics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, where he serves as Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry. He is the author of fifteen volumes of fiction, two non-fiction books and a poetry collection. In his spare time, he is an emergency room physician. More at: www.jacobmappel.com. His current term on the NBCC Board ends in 2023.

Diego Baez

diegobaez@bookcritics.org

Diego Baez is a poet and critic based in Chicago. He is a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, the Surge Institute, and the Poetry Foundation’s Incubator for Emerging Poets, and recently completed the Emerging Critics fellowship with NBCC. His reviews have appeared in The Georgia Review and Spoon River Poetry Review, among others. His term ends in 2023.

Stephanie Burt

burntstove@gmail.com

Stephanie Burt served on the NBCC board from 2010-2012, on the poetry and criticism committees, and as chair of criticism. She has been a working critic for national and international venues (NYTimes Book Review, London Review of Books, the Guardian, etc) as well as for alternative and academic journals (LA Review of Books, Rain Taxi, Metre, Michigan Quarterly Review, Xavier Files, etc) since the 1990s. Her first collection of critical essays, Close Calls with Nonsense, was an NBCC finalist in criticism; since then she has published several more books about poems, poets and poetry with Harvard UP and with Basic Books, as well as several more books of my own poems, including Advice from the Lights (2017), an NEA Big Read Selection. She is a Professor English at Harvard University. Her term ends in 2023.

Rod Davis

rod.davistexas@gmail.com

Rod Davis has worked in every kind of media—radio, television, wire service, newspapers, magazines, and books, in positions ranging from on-air reporter to senior writer to editor. He spent nine years teaching English, at UT-Austin and SMU, and was one of the first hires for the Texas Film Commission. He has written two novels and one nonfiction book. He began reviewing books in the seventies with the AP and The Texas Observer and continues most recently with The Baffler. His term ends in 2022.

Lori Feathers

lori@interabangbooks.com

Lori Feathers is a freelance book critic who lives in Dallas, Texas. Her reviews and features are published in several online and print publications including The Los Angeles Review of Books, Words Without Borders, The Rumpus, Full Stop, World Literature Today, and Rain Taxi. She is a fiction judge for the Best Translated Book Award, and is a co-owner and the book buyer at Interabang Books in Dallas. Her current term on the board ends in 2023.

Charles Finch

charlesfinch3@gmail.com

Charles Finch is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Last Enchantments and The Woman in the Water. He is a regular critic for the New York Times, Slate, USA Today, and the Washington Post, and received the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. He lives in Los Angeles. His term ends in 2021.

Megan Labrise

labrise@gmail.com

Megan Labrise is editor-at-large of Kirkus Reviews. She hosts Kirkus’ weekly podcast, Fully Booked, and interviews writers of all genres. Her term ends in 2023.

Chelsea Leu, Deputy, Membership Programs

leu.chelsea@gmail.com

Chelsea Leu has written for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, and others. She is book reviews editor at the Rumpus, and was an NBCC Emerging Critic in 2018-2019. Her term ends in 2021.

Ben Olguín

benolguin@bookcritics.org

Ben Olguín is primarily a poet, but also just completed the first installment of a trilogy of non-fiction prose travel writing.His day job is as a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches a range of courses and workshops. He received an NEA grant to inaugurate the Voces Nuevas: New Latinx Authors Series, which will commence in 2021. His term ends in 2021.

J. Howard Rosier

jrosier8486@gmail.com

J. Howard Rosier’s writing has appeared in The New Criterion, Bookforum, 4Columns, Art in America, and elsewhere. He received an MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where his thesis work was awarded the James Nelson Raymond Fellowship. A former fellow in the National Book Critics Circle’s Emerging Critics program, Rosier also edits Critics’ Union, a publication serving as an ombudsman for critical topics. His term ends in 2023.

Elizabeth Taylor

elizabeth.taylor.email@gmail.com

Elizabeth Taylor is co-editor of The National Book Review and Literary Editor at Large of the Chicago Tribune, has served as President of the NBCC. The co-author of “American Pharaoh,” she edited both the Books and Sunday Magazine sections of the Chicago Tribune, and was a national correspondent for Time magazine, based in New York and then Chicago. Elizabeth has served as Biography Chair and the coordinator of our Emerging Critics program. Her term ends in 2021.

Harriet Washington

haw95@aol.com

Harriet Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2007 PEN Oakland Award, and the 2007 American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award. She has been a fellow in medical ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the recipient of a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. Her term ends in 2022.

Committees

Autobiography

Marion Winik, Chair
Jacob Appel
Stephanie Burt
Megan Labrise
Ben Olguín
Elizabeth Taylor

Biography

Elizabeth Taylor , Chair
Gregg Barrios
Jane Ciabattari
Charles Finch
Tara Wanda Merrigan
J. Howard Rosier
Michael Schaub

Criticism

J. Howard Rosier, Chair
Jane Ciabattari
Rod Davis
Lori Feathers
Chelsea Leu
Tara Wanda Merrigan
Carlin Romano
Richard Z. Santos
David Varno

Fiction

Jane Ciabattari, Chair
Colette Bancroft
Gregg Barrios
Lori Feathers
Megan Labrise
Carlin Romano
Michael Schaub
David Varno
Marion Winik

Nonfiction

Harriet Washington, Chair
Colette Bancroft
Gregg Barrios
Chelsea Leu
Carlin Romano
J. Howard Rosier
Elizabeth Taylor

Poetry

Stephanie Burt, Chair
Jacob Appel
Diego Baez
Charles Finch
Tara Wanda Merrigan
Ben Olguín
Marion Winik