English Prof and IWP Director Christopher Merrill publishes new book, "After the Fact"

Monday, September 19, 2016

After the Fact book cover
After the Fact book cover

University of Iowa English Professor Christopher Merrill has published a new book, After the Fact: Scripts & Postscripts (White Pine Press), with co-author Marvin Bell, a professor emeritus in the Department of English at the UI.

From the White Pine Press website:

"Prose was always meant for colloquy, risk, and intimacy. With these rich and conversant prose poems, Marvin Bell and Christopher Merrill return spoken language to sport—sometimes competitive, but often cooperative, exploratory, even humanely probative. What is a friend? Bell and Merrill demonstrate friendship is drawn from imagination." —Stephen Kuusisto, author of Letters to Borges

"The best conversationalists intuit and respond to unspoken questions and interstitial meanings, sidelong concerns and secret subjects. They also know how to listen to another's story and hear the line or inflection that calls forth their own tale in a way that enlarges, well, everything. Marvin Bell and Christopher Merrill's stunning epistolary paragraphs illustrate the inner workings of just such an intimate, agile, and sustained conversation. This collaborative, high wire act offers up profound truths in exactly the way the most exciting poems take shape—by leaps of imagination and complete trust in the power of association to bring up riches, songs, and wisdom from the depths. —Lia Purpura

After the Fact is a lively and imaginative conversation between two legendary poets. Marvin Bell, writing from Iowa City and Port Townsend, and Christopher Merrill, writing from around the world, give us an intimate look into collaboration at its best.

Merrill is a professor in the Department of English, part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and is also the director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.