First Bookselling Without Borders Residency Winner Begins Work in Italy

John Francisconi

John Francisconi, general manager of Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn., has arrived in Rome, Italy, and will spend the next three weeks working at Otherwise Bookshop, the first residency fellow in Bookselling Without Borders's residency program.

"I'm thrilled to see what can be learned in translation by this opportunity," Francisconi said. "Besides learning more about one of the world's richest literary hubs by fully immersing myself in Italian culture, I can't wait to collaborate with the team at Otherwise Bookshop, and learn more about the global scope and local roles of independent booksellers."

Francisconi is one of 14 U.S. booksellers to receive a scholarship from BWB this year either to visit one of four international book fairs or to participate in two international bookstore residencies, in Rome, Italy, and in Kolkata, India.

The scholarships enable booksellers to take part in a program of bookselling education, specially designed tours, panel discussions, and meetings with international authors, publishers, and booksellers. With these scholarships, BWB aims to connect booksellers to the global literary conversation and through them to widen Americans' perspectives of diverse and international literature.

Founded in 2016, Bookselling Without Borders has expanded every year and is supported by Catapult, Counterpoint, Europa Editions, Graywolf Press, Grove Atlantic, Melville House, Milkweed Editions, Other Press, Princeton University Press, Rutgers University Press, Seagull Books, Seven Stories Press, Soft Skull, Shambhala Publications and the University of Chicago Press.

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