Jeff VanderMeer is the bestselling author of the Southern Reach Trilogy. His fiction has won the Shirley Jackson and Nebula awards, and been translated into 38 languages. His novel Borne was recently added to the National Endowment for the Arts’s Big Reads program. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Atlantic. VanderMeer has previously been a judge for the Eisner Awards, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the PEN / E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, among others.
Danzy Senna is the author of five critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, including her award-winning first novel Caucasia, and her most recent novel, New People, selected as a New York Times Notable Book and one of Time Magazine’s Best Novels of the Year. Senna is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and the Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She lives in Los Angeles and is a Professor at the University of Southern California.
Javier Ramirez is a longtime Chicago indie bookseller and co-owner of Madison Street Books. He is currently a member of the American Booksellers Association’s ABC advisory council, recently served on the ABA’s middle grade/YA debut Indies Introduce panel, was a 2017 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction judge, and has co-hosted Publishing Cocktails—a semi-annual Chicago-area social bringing together independent booksellers and authors—since 2011.
Ruth Dickey is the Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures which brings the best writers of our time to Seattle stages and classrooms for transformative experiences with literature. Dickey’s work has appeared widely and garnered her a Mayor’s Arts Award from Washington, DC and an artist fellowship from the DC Commission and Arts and Humanities. She serves on the Board of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
Jeff Sharlet (Chair) is the bestselling author or editor of six books, including The Family, C Street, and Sweet Heaven When I Die. He is an editor at large for VQR and a contributor to a number of other periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, and GQ, for which his story on LGBTQ life in Russia won a National Magazine Award. Sharlet is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.
Kiese Laymon is the author of Long Division, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Heavy: An American Memoir. He is the Ottilie Schilig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi.
Mark Laframboise grew up in Chicago. His first job in bookselling was at Copperfield & Co. in Macomb, IL, where he pursued an MA in American literature after a three-year stint in the army. He then joined Stone Lion Bookstore in Fort Collins, CO, where he worked for five years as adult book buyer and store manager. Laframboise currently works at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, where he has been for over twenty years, primarily as head book buyer.
Carolyn Kellogg is a writer and critic. She is the former Books editor of the Los Angeles Times and an award-winning culture writer. She is on the board of the National Book Critics Circle and has been published widely. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama.
Mark Wunderlich (Chair) is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent of which is God of Nothingness, forthcoming from Graywolf Press. His other collections include The Earth Avails, which received the Rilke Prize, Voluntary Servitude, and The Anchorage, which received the Lambda Literary Award. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and elsewhere, and his poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, New Republic, Poetry, The Paris Review, and have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. He is the director of the Bennington Writing Seminars graduate writing program and lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.