In an email to its members on Wednesday, the National Book Critics Circle's board of directors announced that its members have called for a meeting to remove v-p of grants Carlin Romano from the board.
The NBCC has received more than 70 emails from active voting members calling for Romano's removal, the board said in the email. The meeting will be held on Zoom on August 24, at 4:00 p.m. ET, and will be run by volunteer members. Romano's potential removal is the only issue on the docket for the meeting. Active members must confirm their membership and enroll for the meeting before attending.
In order to go ahead with the meeting, a quorum of NBCC members—at present, this means at least 55 members, according to the board—must attend. At least two-thirds of the votes must support the move for Romano's removal. Should that occur, it would mark the first time in NBCC history in which the board was asked to remove a director. According to the organization's bylaws, "any director may be removed solely for cause." The bylaws are currently in the process of being updated.
The move comes after more than a month of infighting and turmoil on the NBCC board centered around the release of an internal email from Romano to the board in response to discussions surrounding a working group of board members' efforts to draft an anti-racism statement from the NBCC. The resulting weeks saw the board reduced to nine members and then reassembled once more from both recent and previous former board members and a slate of new directors.
In a statement decrying the NBCC board's recent activities, Romano called the recent appointments of 15 new board members "illegitimate and a violation of NBCC bylaws," arguing that "the discussion about how to fill the vacant seats was a sham." He continued: "Now the NBCC board has announced a special Zoom meeting called to remove me from the board," adding: "The meeting is consistent with the political bias that led to it."
This article has been updated for clarity and to include an abbreviated statement from Romano.