The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) nominated five finalists in six categories--autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry--for the outstanding books of 2015.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, who already won the National Book Award and the MacArthur "genius" fellowship with Between the World and Me, is up for the NBCC Award for criticism. Also among the finalists are Fates and Furies author Lauren Groff (fiction), H is for Hawk author Helen Macdonald, SPQR: A History of Rome author Mary Beard (nonfiction), and Elizabeth Alexander, author of The Light of the World (autobiography).

The winners of three additional prizes were announced as well. The Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement went to poet and activist Wendell Berry. Kirstin Valdez Quade is the recipient of the third annual John Leonard Prize with her story collection, Night at the Fiestas. Also, the 2015 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing went to Carlos Lozada, an associate editor and nonfiction book critic at The Washington Post.

The awards will be presented on March 17, 2016 at the New School, in a ceremony that is free and open to the public.

The complete list of NBCC Award finalists for the publishing year 2015 is as follows:

Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World (Grand Central Publishing)
Vivian Gornick, The Odd Woman and the City (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
George Hodgman, Bettyville (Viking)
Margo Jefferson, Negroland (Pantheon)
Helen Macdonald, H Is for Hawk (Grove Press)

Terry Alford, Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth (Oxford University Press)
Charlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley (Random House)
T.J. Stiles, Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America (Alfred A. Knopf)
Rosemary Sullivan, Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva (Harper)
Karin Wieland and Shelly Frisch, Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives (Liveright)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau)
Leo Damrosch, Eternity's Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William Blake (Yale University Press)
Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts (Graywolf)
Colm Tóibín, On Elizabeth Bishop (Princeton University Press)
James Wood, The Nearest Thing to Life (Brandeis University Press)

Paul Beatty, The Sellout (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies (Riverhead)
Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth (Coffee House Press)
Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno (Hogarth)
Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen (Penguin Press)

Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Rome (Liveright)
Ari Berman, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Jill Leovy, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (Spiegel & Grau)
Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Story of America's Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury)
Brian Seibert, What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn (Penguin)
Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions)
Sinéad Morrissey, Parallax and Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Frank Stanford, What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford (Copper Canyon Press)

Kirstin Valdez Quade, "Night at the Fiestas" (W.W. Norton & Company)

Carlos Lozada

Ruth Franklin
James Parker
Roxana Robinson
Leo Robson

Wendell Berry