PANZ Association Director Catriona Ferguson reports
It’s a thrill to be back amongst our global publishing colleagues at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. Our striking stand design (thanks once again Martin Bailey!) provides a perfect backdrop for the excellent books our publishers are showing off to the world and even on set up day of the fair, there was a definite buzz in the air. With eleven publishers represented on the stand this year we’re anticipating a busy few days, including making it along to some of the key industry gatherings such as IPA meetings and events, catching up with friends from other publishers’ associations and when we have the time, mingling at some of the stand parties.
Our set up day largely involved a lot of unpacking of boxes, which were of course all present and correct thanks to the logistical skills of Chris Shaw and the Book Systems team – our much valued freight partners for the fair. With a monumental effort on the part of our stand team, Christiane, Joy and Ann-Sophie by late afternoon we were looking shipshape and ready for the next few days.
The Frankfurt Book Fair turns 75 this year and there has been much to celebrate in the long and significant history of the fair. However, this year hasn’t been without its controversy following a decision to postpone honouring Berlin-based Palestinian author Adania Shibli with the 2023 LiBeraturpreis, there’s more on that here https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/international/Frankfurt-Book-Fair/article/93454-frankfurt-book-fair-2023-publishing-is-a-political-act.html. Some of the controversy spilled over into the opening ceremony when Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek delivered a passionate speech on the Hamas-Israel war, you can read the response from Jurgen Boos, FBF Director here – No doubt there will be further big conversations to be had over the coming days.