Karl Kimber Merker
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Kim Merker, founder of the University of Iowa Center for the Book. His vision led to the creation of the UICB in 1986, the establishment of a certificate program in 1996, and an MFA degree in 2011. We celebrate our first graduating class this May, 2013. There are many members of the UICB family, but only one father, and Kim will always be remembered here. Kim began his career in fine press publishing in 1957, printing handmade books featuring the work of both literary masters and unknowns whose work he admired. As Dana Gioia wrote in 1997, “To his lasting credit, he has published the writers, mainly poets, in whose literary merits he has believed. Today a checklist of his books may look like a Who’s Who of contemporary poetry, but Merker first published many of those authors early in their careers.” An event to honor his life and work is planned for this fall and details will be forthcoming.
A selection of printed works by Kim Merker is currently on view in the Special Collections Reading Room. Titles include offerings from Windhover Press, Stonewall Press, and other imprints listing Kim as collaborator. A special thanks to Patrick Olson for curating the display. UI Special Collections encourages anyone who would like to spend some time with Kim's books to feel free to stop by (3rd floor, Main Library).
Special Collections is open Monday-Thursday 8:30 - 5:30 pm, and Friday: 8:30 - 5:00 pm during academic terms.
For more information about Kim Merker’s life and work see:
Printing & the Mind of Merker: A Bibliographical Study, by Sidney E. Berger, (New York: Grolier Club, 1997). A comprehensive and annotated listing of Kim's Stone Wall Press and Windhover Press publications.
In Books at Iowa, a 1976 checklist of Kim’s work by Kay Amert
In Books at Iowa, a 1996 article about Kim by Bonnie O'Connell