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Piero Manni the kind man who loved politics and poetry

IL LUTTO

Twelve o'clock, 23 May 2020 – 15: 31

The publisher was 76 years old. Regional councilor of Rifondazione, he was one of the first to publish the writings of Alda Merini

by Francesco Mazzotta

He was 76 years old, made two days ago. Yesterday Piero Manni passed away, one of the historical publishers of Alda Merini and point of reference for the whole of Southern Italy. Born in Soleto, he founded the Salento house with his wife Anna Grazia D’Oria, editorial director. And he shared the fate of this extraordinary experience with his daughters Grazia and Agnese, the first managerial soul of the family company, the second editorial director like his mother, and for some time committed to weaving relationships outside Salento with the opening of a office in Milan.

Manni had published over the years six books of the poet of the Navigli , with whom he had made a deep friendship. And poetry had been the key to entry into the publishing world. After starting the activity in 1984 with the magazine “Imagination”, still engaged in literary research today, in 1985 Manni printed an anthology with verses by Cacciatore, Caproni, Leonetti, Luzi, Malerba, Pagliarani, Volponi, Zanzotto and other authors republished just a few years ago. It is entitled Signs of poetry / language of peace and represents the first book of the rich catalog built by Manni, publisher who came to touch the Witch with Alberto Rollo, three years ago in the five finalists with the novel “A Milanese education”. The Manni publishing house has been competing for some time for the prestigious literary prize. And, in fact, this year too she had been selected in the initial stages with The opposite of her father by Sebastiano Mondadori. Long-time publisher, but also a teacher in middle school, Manni had taught in prisons for twenty years, and in this role he had the director Edoardo Winspeare recite him in the film La vita in comune .

Manni also printed some writings of the poet Vittorio Bodini and was regional councilor of the Communist Refoundation at the time of the Vendola junta. His political commitment, enriched with the appointment as emeritus president of Anpi Salento, was rooted in the militant left and in the sphere of intellectuals such as Valentino Parlato, of whom he had published The non-Russian revolution , the forty-year history of the newspaper il manifesto. And on Facebook he proudly sported a profile photo in which he appears next to Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Nobel Peace Prize winner. “May his imagination and his militancy, that is his life, be of inspiration for young people”, wrote the mayor of Lecce, Carlo Salvemini, who had known Manni when he was still a teenager, in his memory. at the home of the ex senator Giovanni Pellegrino, where the idea of ​​the magazine “Imagination” was born.

Manni was recently hospitalized . And he thanked the doctors with an announcement in the press. Yesterday the disappearance. With a post, the publishing house remembered it like this: «The emptiness you leave is tremendous, but you have taught us so much, and you are in each of our books – those made, those imagined and never made, those you wrote and translated and cured, and in those you have invented in the last few days and on which you have pissed off to the last because we worked on it! – that we will find you forever everywhere ». Many messages of condolence, even from political opponents. “I am deeply saddened by the disappearance of Piero Manni, to whom I was bound by a sincere friendship – commented Adriana Poli Bortone -. He was a pleasant, objective, helpful person who gave much to the Lecce community in terms of an always attentive and intelligent cultural proposal ». Among the many testimonies, that of the regional councilor Loredana Capone: «With him – he said – one of the protagonists of the cultural history of Salento goes away, capable of building a bridge with the national cultural context, always in the name of publishing practiced and lived as militancy “.

23 May 2020 | 15: 31

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