In a moment of rapid change, noted emerging and established critics gather and ask: What is the purpose of criticism now? How do we speak? To whom? Who do we imagine our audience(s) to be, and how do we reach them? As modes and means of distributing information increase, what forms of criticism have use and impact? And most importantly, in a world in flux, are critics activists?
Kate Tuttle, President of the National Book Critics Circle, writes about books for the Boston Globe. Her reviews have also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Newsday. Her essays on childhood, race, and politics have appeared in Dame, the Rumpus, and elsewhere.
Jane Ciabattari is a literary critic and author of the story collections Stealing the Fire and California Tales. She is National Book Critics Circle VP/Online (and a former NBCC president), a columnist for BBC Culture and The Literary Hub, and a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto.
Ismail Muhammad is staff writer at the Millions, contributing editor at ZYZZYVA, and a Ph.D. candidate in English at U.C. Berkeley. His nonfiction and criticism have appeared in Slate, Paris Review, the Nation, and other venues. He’s at work on a novel about the Great Migration.
Oscar Villalon is the managing editor of ZYZZYVA. He is a former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as a past board member of the National Book Critics Circle. He is also a contributing editor to Literary Hub.
Hope Wabuke is the author of The Leaving and Movement No.1: Trains. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Award in 2017, and has been published widely in various magazines. She is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a contributing editor for The Root.