Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Printing and the Mind of Merker

Kim Merker [1932-2013], master printer and proprietor of Stone Wall Press and Windhover Press, died on April 28, 2013 at age 81. A native New Yorker who travelled to Iowa City to study poetry at the University of Iowa, he launched Stone Wall Press in 1957, and published the early work of a number of significant writers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Philip Levine, Mark Strand, and James Tate.

In 1967, Merker began Windhover Press, which served as the official fine press of the university as well as a teaching press for students in the book arts. In 1986, Merker also founded the Center for the Book at Iowa, which this spring awarded the first MFA degrees in its interdisciplinary Book Arts Program.

The Grolier Club, in 1997, held a major retrospective exhibition curated by Michael Peich entitled: K.K. Merker: Serving the Muse: Stone Wall Press and Windhover Press, 1956-1996. Accompanying the exhibition was the publication of a comprehensive annotated bibliography, Printing and the Mind of Merker: A Bibliographical Study, by Sidney Berger, with contributions by Harry Duncan, Dana Gioia, and Merker himself. An obituary for Merker can be read in the New York Times.

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