For 35 years, the National Book Critics Circle has honored the best in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, autobiography, biography and criticism. The NBCC also confers the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award and Nona Blakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, given for the best critical work of the year by an NBCC member. Both are named after founding members who gathered at the Algonquin Round Table in New York City to expand their literary conversation to a national level.
On September 12, 2009, at 7 p.m. E. L. Doctorow and John Ashbery, winners of the first NBCC awards in fiction and poetry (for Ragtime and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, respectively), NBCC President Jane Ciabattari, past presidents John Freeman, Herb Leibowitz, Jack Miles, Rebecca Miller, Carlin Romano, Elizabeth Taylor and Art Winslow, and dozens of current and past board members will gather at WNYC’s new Jerome L. Greene Space in New York City to talk about 35 years of the NBCC legacy and to predict the future of literary criticism and book culture in the digital age. The discussion will be webcast live and posted on Critical Mass, the NBCC board blog, along with blog posts from dozens of former NBCC board members and members and other witnesses to the NBCC over the years.