The National Book Critics Circle Awards
is one of the most prestigious prizes in the country. Each year, finalists for six categories (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, criticism, and autobiography) are chosen by a panel of working book critics and editors from across the country. We’re thrilled to report that the shortlist for the 2016 NBCC Poetry awards, announced on January 16 and reported in the Los Angeles Times
on January 17, includes Olio
by Tyehimba Jess published by Wave Books. Part fact, part fiction, Olio
examines the lives of African American performers from before the Civil War until World War I, using sonnet, song, and narrative to highlight the ways in which the performers complicated and resisted minstrelsy. This year’s award winners will be announced at a ceremony at the New School in New York City to be held on March 16. The PEN America Book Awards
have taken notice of Olio
as well: it was named a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award on January 17, which comes with the hefty prize of $75,000. Three more Consortium titles made the PEN Award finalist across nine categories: Jamaal May’s The Big Book of Exit Strategies
was named a finalist for the PEN/Open Book Award, which honors “an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2016.” Both Justine
by Iben Mondrup and Abyss
by Ya Hsien were nominated for awards for books in translation (the PEN Translation Prize for the former and the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for the latter).
In Rad American Women A–Z
, author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl present an abecedarian collection of all of the country’s fierce feminist foremothers, a perfectly relevant book heading in the Million Women March. On January 29, the book will hit the New York Times
Middle Grade Hardcover Bestsellers list, coming in at a whopping number six! Since it was first published on April 7, it has been on the New York Times
bestseller list for five weeks. The book has also previously dominated regional bestseller lists: a NCIBA bestseller for eighteen weeks, an SCIBA bestseller for three, and also making the MIBA bestseller
list this week!