Drumroll, Please: Announcing the New NBCC Emerging Critics

by Admin | May-30-2018

We're delighted to announce the NBCC Emerging Critics: July 1, 2018-July 1, 2019.

This year’s class of emerging critics are recognized by a fellowship named in honor of the late NPR critic Alan Cheuse. 

The Emerging Critics fellowship, launched last year,  seeks to identify, nurture, and support the development of the next generation of book critics.

ELIGIBILITY Critics of all ages who seek to review and write about books for print and digital outlets are eligible for the fellowship. Applicants may or may not have previously published book reviews.

THE FELLOWSHIP Over the course of the one-year fellowship, emerging critics will receive:

—An opportunity to partake in the ongoing conversation about the craft of reviewing, and ethical questions and concerns emerging as the publishing landscape changes.

—Active mentorship from members of NBCC board. This includes Skype sessions on topics including the craft of writing reviews, ethics and professionalism, the business of freelancing, and more. Board members are also individually available for advice on drafts as well as counsel regarding career development.

—Access to NBCC blog Critical Mass, as contributors of both original work and previously published work in weekly-roundup.

—Dues-free membership to the NBCC, admission to NBCC events, and annual reception for one year.

The National Book Critics Circle seeks a broad range of applicants, especially those who have demonstrated a genuine interest and commitment to engaging in critical conversation about books.

Here are this year's Emerging Critics:

Jennie Hann. Jennie Hann recently completed her Ph.D. in English at Johns Hopkins University, where she took courses in the Writing Seminars and served as Associate Editor of the scholarly journal ELH (English Literary History). A lifelong Anglophile with a particular fondness for the nineteenth century, she also holds a M.A. in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a B.A. in English from Harvard. In 2013, she co-curated an exhibition of rare book materials related to the writer Stephen Crane at the George Peabody Library in Baltimore. Her critical non-fiction appears in the exhibition catalogue (For Love or Money, ed. Gabrielle Dean); another of her literary research pieces was published in the Edith Wharton Review as the winner of that journal’s essay prize in 2008. A passionate traveler and avid learner of European languages, Jennie has participated in the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Portugal and the Bread Load Writer’s Conference in Sicily. Broadly speaking, she is interested in the interpersonal connections and reciprocal influences between writers and artists. In this vein, her dissertation examined the Italian encounters of Robert Browning and Henry James, and she is currently working on a project about the creative friendships of Mark Strand.

Natalia Holtzman.  Natalia Holtzman is a writer based in Ann Arbor, MI. Her essays, stories, and poems have appeared in Electric Literature, Ploughshares, B O D Y, Salt Hill, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She earned an MFA from the University of Alabama and is currently pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science at the University of Michigan. She is at work on a novel about a large family in a small village in the former Yugoslavia.

Tanner Howard. Tanner Howard is a freelance journalist and activist based in Chicago, and a graduate of Northwestern University. They've written for the Guardian, Jacobin, Chicago Review, In These Times, Nylon, and Colorlines, amongst other publications. They're a co-creator of Just Constellations, a web plugin designed to connect social justice materials online. They're also a member of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, organizing for housing justice.

Noah Kulwin. Noah Kulwin is a reporter, critic, and editor based in New York. He is a senior editor at Jewish Currents, a quarterly magazine covering the thought, culture, and activism of the Jewish left. His reportage and criticism have appeared in New York magazine, Bookforum, VICE Magazine, and The Awl. He was previously the technology editor of VICE News. He is a native of Montclair, New Jersey, but he spent a few years in Israel and in the Bay Area before moving to New York.

Jonathan Leal. Jonathan Leal is a scholar-musician based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A native of the Rio Grande Valley, he received a BA and MA in English from the University of North Texas while working as a percussionist and music educator; he is now a PhD Candidate in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University. Since moving to California, his essays and criticism have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Huizache: The Magazine of Latino Literature, The Acentos Review, Caustic Frolic, and elsewhere. In 2017, he designed sound and music for the premiere of Cherríe Moraga’s The Mathematics of Love at Brava! Theater; in 2018, he executive produced Wild Tongue, a compilation album featuring new work by nine bands in the South Texas borderlands.

Chelsea Leu. Chelsea Leu is a writer and critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, and other publications. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in geology (of all things), and she's now based in the Bay Area, where she also works as a research editor at WIRED magazine. She tweets @ChelseaLeu. chelsealeu.com

 Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers. Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers is a farmer, book critic, poet, and writer. She earned a B.A. in English from Penn State and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Old Dominion University. Her poetry has been published in The Missing Slate, Gulf Stream, IthacaLit, Menacing Hedge, and SWWIM Every Day, among others. Her creative work has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in Flash Fiction and was a semifinalist in the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and the 2016 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Her critical work has appeared or is forthcoming in Foreword Reviews, The Los Angeles Review, and Literary Mama. A native of Pennsylvania, she makes her home in Buckingham, Virginia where she operates a cow-calf beef farm. Find her talking about books and other passions on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook: @lmontgomeryrodgers | Twitter: @murderopilcrows

Leena Soman Navani. Leena Soman Novani has an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University. Her writing has been published online or is forthcoming with Ploughshares, Cleaver Magazine, Harvard Review, and Kenyon Review. She lives in New York and is at work on a story collection. Leena Soman has an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University. Her writing has been published online or is forthcoming with Ploughshares, Cleaver Magazine, and Kenyon Review. She lives in New York and is at work on a story collection.

Justin Howard Rosier. Justin Howard Rosier is an award-winning fiction writer and essayist. He received his BA in Journalism from Columbia College, and his MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he covered fine arts, film, and music for F Newsmagazine, and founded the journal Critics’ Union. As the former editor of BG: Blues and Music News, he cataloged Grammys and hung out with Buddy Guy on his birthday. He’s currently at work on a novel. Twitter: @justlikebeirut | Instagram

Hope Wabuke. Hope Wabuke, poet, essayist, and critic, is the author of the chapbooks The Leaving, Movement No.1: Trains, and her, forthcoming in late 2018. She is a contributing editor for The Root, where she originated a column on literature of the global African diaspora, and has published widely in various magazines, among them The Guardian, Salon, Ms. Magazine online, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, and The Sun. Hope has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts,  The New York Times Foundation, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers, Yale University’s THREAD Writer’s Program, and the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA). She is also an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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