One of the founders of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Carla Poesio, has died.
Poesia spent more than 50 years working on the fair and organisers said it was a “terrible loss” and the event “owes her so much, even its birth as a show”. The event opened in 1963 and Poesia contributed to a book celebrating its semicentennial, Bologna: Fifty Years of Children’s Books from All Over the World (Bononia University Press). The fair now attracts more than 1,300 exhibitors from around 80 countries.
A spokesperson for the fair said: “For over 50 years her work, her suggestions and skills – always up-to-date – were a huge help for our event, open to every new trend and aspect of the children’s books from across the world.
“It’s a terrible loss for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, that owes her so much, even its birth as a show. Carla’s contributed to the research about international publishing, suggested by Renato Giunti [fellow founder and publisher], who recognised in the city of Bologna a centrepoint for the foundations of a fair a space for professionals and artists alike.”
The spokesperson added: “Carla was a fundamental part of our history and today we want to remember her with some of her words, ‘In 1966, we started hearing people who clearly planned to return to the fair the following year, call out: “To Bologna! “To Bologna!” just as Chekhov’s Three Sisters ends with the line “To Moscow! To Moscow!“. In calling out the name of the city, they were obviously referring to the fair and the sheer pleasure of anticipating their return.’”