M. C. Richards

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Mary Caroline Richards (July 13, 1916, Weiser, Idaho – September 10, 1999, Kimberton, Pennsylvania) was an American poet, potter and writer, best known for her book Centering in Pottery, Poetry and the Person.[1] Educated at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, and at the University of California at Berkeley, she taught English at the Central Washington College of Education and the University of Chicago, but in 1945 became a faculty member of the notoriously experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

Later in life she taught art at the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality (ICCS) at Holy Names College (now Holy Names University). ICCS was founded by former Roman Catholic and current Episcopal priest Matthew Fox (priest).

She was married in 1943 to Vernon Young (marriage dissolved), and secondly in 1945 to Bill Levi (marriage dissolved).

The correspondence between Mary Richards and James Herlihy is preserved at the University of Delaware Library.

She spent the list 15 years of her life living and working as a volunteer at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, where she worked with residents with developmental disabilities and took up painting, and where the film “M.C. Richards: The Fire Within” was made. "Her art-of-many-genres wove together all her concerns, including community, agriculture, craft itself, and spiritual ideas. Always a poet, she regarded the end of her life – as physically limiting as it was - as another fulfilling adventure, “living toward dying, blooming into invisibility.” - Margaret Wakeley


  1. ^ Smith, Roberta. "M. C. Richards, Poet, Potter and Essayist, Dies at 83", The New York Times, September 20, 1999. Accessed March 29, 2010.

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