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Moni Port, Illustrator, graphic designer and author

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Picture: © Privat

Audioscript Moni Port

The first time I went to Frankfurter Buchmesse was in 1988. I was training to be a bookseller in Trier, attended the Frankfurt Booksellers' School and a colleague from the bookshop had told me to visit a very specific American publisher at the book fair – and to ask about the publication date of the book "Architect" by Richard Meier. I think it was Rizzoli.

Our bookshop had a focus on art and architecture, so we really needed this book. So I did as I was told, was quite excited, I still remember that: it should be published in two months, was the answer. And immediately after the visit to the fair, I went to see the museum that Richard Meier had built here in Frankfurt. 

In the years that followed, I got to know all kinds of perspectives on the book fair. For many years, as a student, I helped set up the stand for Eichborn Verlag and covered the walls with black felt. Again a few years later, I did portfolio talks with children's book publishers, and at some point I had events myself at the fair and at Open Books.

So Frankfurter Buchmesse has been with me for half my life now, and what I love most about it is the encounters. The encounter with books, of course, but even more so with the people who write and illustrate them. The people who read them and the people who publish and champion them. It's a very special species, I think. Happy 75th, dear Frankfurter Buchmesse! Here's to the next 75 years.