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REGISTER: The Critic As Artist Panel Followed by 2021 NBCC Award Announcements

January 20, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Event Video

January 20, 2022. 7 pm EST

Please join President David Varno and the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors for a virtual panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing followed by the announcement of the Balakian award by 2015 winner Carlos Lozada and of the finalists for our 2021 awards by previous winners Morgan Parker (Poetry) and Patrick Radden Keefe (Nonfiction). You can register for this free event here.


The Critic As Artist: What We’ve Learned in 30 years of Reviewing

How have critical standards shifted in the past three decades? What considerations must a reviewer include in an assessment of a book? How has the craft of criticism evolved? A conversation among winners of NBCC’s Balakian Award for Excellence in Reviewing, first awarded in 1991, moderated by NBCC president David Varno.

Jo Livingstone (2020) Critic for The New Republic

Daniel Mendelsohn (2000) Critic for New York Review of Books

Parul Sehgal (2010) Critic for The New Yorker

Katy Waldman (2018) Critic for The New Yorker

Moderated by NBCC President David Varno, fiction editor, Publishers Weekly.

Remarks on Nona Balakian by poet Peter Balakian, her nephew. 


The 2021 Award Winners and Announcements:


Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing

Winner announced by Carlos Lozada

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner announced by Jacob M. Appel

Toni Morrison Award 

Winner announced by Jacob M. Appel


Finalist announcements for the John Leonard Prize and the Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry awards by Morgan Parker and Patrick Radden Keefe.


About the National Book Critics Circle

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC), a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature. It was founded in 1974 to encourage and raise the quality of book criticism in all media and to create a way for critics to communicate with one another about their professional concerns. It consists of more than 700 active book reviewers, plus approximately 200 student members and supporting friends. 

Regular voting membership is open to professional book review editors and book reviewers. Also available are non-voting memberships for those in the publishing field and a non-voting student membership. If you would like to join, please visit 


January 20, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm