Iowa City has been designated by UNESCO as a city of the book, and this month's book fair there is conducted in part in honor of that designation.
"Writers around the world know that Iowa City is a center for writing, Christopher Merrill said Saturday.
"Iowans throughout the state, however, might not think of the city in the same way, said Merrill, the director of the University of Iowa International Writing Program who led the efforts to designate Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature.
"Sharing Iowa City's literary qualities with the state and beyond is one of the goals as the city and supporters determine how to build upon the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designation, Merrill said.
"Merrill was one of a number of writers and poets to participate in the first Iowa City Book Festival on Saturday, a daylong celebration of books, reading and writing presented by the University of Iowa Libraries."