This month, Latvia will be represented at the international book fairs in Leipzig (Germany) and Bologna (Italy). 15th – 18th March, Latvia will be participating in the Leipzig Book Fair (Leipziger Buchmesse) with its literature and book publishing stand. 26th – 29th March, Bologna Children's Book Fair (La fiera del libro per ragazzi) will be hosting an exhibition of works by Latvian book artists and designers.
Latvia will be attending the Leipzig Book Fair with a unique cardboard exhibition stand designed by the architect and designer Jānis Mercs. The stand will display books catalogued in “Books To Fall For” as top exportable literary works for adults and children, as well as the most recent German translations of Latvian literature. Literary agents Jade Will and Žanete Vēvere-Paskvalīni will be managing the sales of copyrights on Latvian original works.
For the first time, Bologna has assigned a larger space for the Latvian exhibition stand with a designated area for meetings with agents and publishers from other countries. This year in Bologna, Latvia will be presenting the latest issue of “Books To Fall For” dedicated to the most recent Latvian children’s books, with selected books displayed in the stand. Latvia will be participating in the book fair with representatives of children’s book publishers like “Liels un mazs”, “Pētergailis”, “Kuš!” and “Uci Puci”, as well as aspiring illustrators from the Art Academy of Latvia (LMA) who will be presenting their artworks. The content of the exhibition, and the financial support allocated to the participation in the fair was voted on by a special Committee consisting of Inga Bodnarjuka-Mrazauskas (director of “Latvia in the Bologna Book Fair” project), Žanete Vēvere-Pasqualīni (literary agent), Maira Dobele (author, State Culture Capital Foundation representative), Jolanta Pētersone (translator), and Aiga Dzalbe (Art Historian, associate professor at LMA).
26th March, at 17:00, the Bologna Book Fair will host a presentation of the Latvian exhibition stand with artist Reinis Pētersons projecting illustrations onto the walls of the stand for the guests.
At 19:00, “Fondantico” gallery (Via de’ Pepoli, 6/e, Bologna) will be opening an exhibition of works by 20 Latvian artists of different generations specially created for the book-catalogue “The Horse”. The exhibition is organized in partnership with the Embassy of Latvia in Italy and is part of the Latvia’s Centenary celebration programme.
What makes this year even more special is Latvian Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) becoming the sponsor of the International Children’s Book Day 2018. This honour is given each year to one of the national sections of IBBY: the sponsor is free to choose a theme for the Book Day, invites a prominent author from the host country to compose a message to all the children of the world and a well known illustrator to design the event poster. These materials are then used to promote books and celebrate the joy of reading across the globe. This year, Reinis Pētersons was selected as the artist for the poster, and the esteemed Latvian writer Inese Zandere is the author of the 2018 message “The small is big in a book”.