The effect of feedback flow control on the wake of a circular cylinder at a Reynolds number of 100 is investigated in direct numerical simulation. The control approach uses a low-dimensional model based on proper orthogonal decomposition (POD). The controller applies linear proportional and differential feedback to the estimate of the first POD mode. The range of validity of the POD model is explored in detail. Actuation is implemented as displacement of the cylinder normal to the flow. It is demonstrated that the threshold peak amplitude below which the control actuation ceases to be effective is in the order of 5% of the cylinder diameter. The closed-loop feedback simulations explore the effect of both fixed-phase and variable-phase feedback on the wake. Whereas fixed-phase feedback is effective in reducing drag and unsteady lift, it fails to stabilize this state once the low drag state has been reached. Variable-phase feedback, however, achieves the same drag and unsteady lift reductions while being able to stabilize the flow in the low drag state. In the low drag state, the near wake is entirely steady, whereas the far wake exhibits vortex shedding at a reduced intensity. A drag reduction of 15% of the drag was achieved, and the unsteady lift force was lowered by 90%.