At a board of directors meeting on Tuesday, the National Book Critics Circle appointed 15 members to its board, which was gutted following a racially charged controversy last month. In addition, the organization has drafted amendments to its bylaws and updated members on the status of planning a special membership meeting for the purpose of voting on the removal of NBCC v-p of grants Carlin Romano from the board, as per the calls of "a group of more than 30 regular members."
Charles Finch, Megan Labrise, Ismail Muhammad, Elizabeth Taylor, and David Varno (who is fiction reviews editor at PW) have all rejoined the National Book Critics Circle board of directors after resigning in June, while Stephanie Burt, Rigoberto Gonzalez, and Oscar Villalon, all former board members, have been reappointed to the board as well. In addition, Diego Baez, Rod Davis, Chelsea Leu, Tara Wanda Merrigan, Ben Olguín, J. Howard Rosier, and Harriet Washington have also been appointed to the board. Jane Ciabattari remains acting president of the organization.
The new members of the board were "nominated through email by themselves or others and were recruited by the NBCC board," according to an email from the NBCC board to its members. "The end result is the most diverse board in NBCC history and one of the most experienced," the board wrote, adding that eight board slots will be up for election this fall.
Proposed changes to the bylaws include "declaring the NBCC [an] anti-racist/anti-bias organization," and "giving additional voting powers to members," the organization wrote in the email. The board will solicit comments from members before voting on any structural changes. The board has also "received advice from legal counsel on best practices to proceed in facilitating a special membership meeting, which has been called by a group of more than 30 regular members for the purpose of voting on the removal of Carlin Romano," and pledged to update members shortly.