Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968), a Trappist monk, was best known for his writings about religion and philosophy, but he also produced a number of a beautiful prints. John Pauker (1920 - ), a self-styled "poet, propagandist, and patron of the arts," befriended Merton and arranged in 1967 to sell many of his prints to benefit a local Washington, D.C. parish.
John Pauker was born in Budapest, Hungary and attended Yale University (B.A., 1942). His first book of poems, Yoked by Violence, was published in 1949. His next published work was a translation from Hungarian of Lajos Zilahy's The Dukays, also in 1949. Pauker continued with Excellency in 1967 and has also contributed to a number of poetry and short story anthologies. He has had work published in such periodicals as Paris Review, The New Republic, New English Weekly, Voyages, and the Quarterly Review of Literature. John Pauker now lives in Washington, D.C. For more information on John Pauker, see Contemporary Authors, vol. 25-28.
Thomas Merton became famous with the publication in 1948 of his highly popular account of his conversion, The Seven Storey Mountain. From that time on he produced a steady stream of works on religion, philosophy, and poetry, includes The Waters of Siloe (1949), Seeds of Contemplation (1949), The Sign of Jonas (1952), No Man is an Island (1955), and Mystics and Zen Masters (1967). Merton was also an accomplished calligrapher and sketch artist. Examples of his prints have been reproduced in a photographic biography of Merton, The Man in the Sycamore Tree. Thomas Merton died in Thailand in 1968.