Lorin Morgan-Richards, (born February 16, 1975) is a Los Angeles based author and illustrator, primarily of children's literature. He is the owner of A Raven Above Press, and was the founder of the St. David's Day Festival-National Day of Wales, and publisher of Celtic Family Magazine and Bringing The Circle Together Magazine.
Raised in an converted schoolhouse (built in 1874) in Beebetown, Ohio, Richards spent countless hours drawing the fifty-some odd pets, most of which were cats, and writing them into stories. Inside there was an extensive collection of folk stories to read and a family pump organ his mother (a student of fine art) taught him to play. Richards ancestor was the 19th Century poet Robert Dennison Morgan. Richards is of Welsh, Swiss (Mennonite Amish) and Native American descent. In school, Richards suffered from dyslexia in childhood and struggled to keep up with his peers. This in turn, caused him to become more focused on creative outlets. When Richards was 15 he began writing music and directing creative projects. One of these projects was a short film entitled 'the Cowboy Movie' where with the help of family and friends he recreated the old west town of Tombstone at his grandmothers farm, starring as Wyatt Earp.
While at University, Richards initially studied music and had some minor success in producing musical ventures between 1996 and 2002, including ‘ENKI’ based on Zecharia Sitchin's book the Twelfth Planet', and ‘An Occurrence Remembered’ centered on Ambrose Bierce’s short stories.
Enki premiered in Cleveland, Ohio under the choreography of Michael Medcalf, and was co-produced by Valerie Stoneking. Sitchin commented on the album, "Beautiful words...the words you composed do capture ENKI's great contribution to our being." ENKI has been acclaimed as a predecessor to other alien ancestor theory productions. Richards wrote a second album in 2001 entitled An Occurrence Remembered based on the American Civil War short stories of Ambrose Bierce. Following this, Richards produced and directed An Occurrence Remembered which premiered in New York City under the choreography of Nicole Cavaliere, and co-production of Valerie Stoneking. Rehearsals for the production began in the Spring of 2001 with performances in November. Initial enthusiasm for the performances was quieted by the attacks of 9-11 and repercussions that hit Off-Broadway leaving Richards in financial distress.
In 2010, Richards released an EP entitled Orpheus conceptually based on Pwyll's descent into Annwn, the Welsh Otherworld, and uncompleted soundtrack synchronization with Jean Cocteau's film Orphee. Several of Richards songs were distributed worldwide, and Richards covered ‘I'm Eighteen’ by Alice Cooper for a tribute album. After moving to Los Angeles, Richards finished out his bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology and became heavily engaged in writing and illustrating.
Richards co-created and curated a free Indigenous American film series in Los Angeles entitled Bringing The Circle Together focusing on social political issues affecting Indigenous peoples. The series ran monthly from May 15, 2008 until March 21, 2012 with special guests, speakers and performers. At the series on February 25, 2010, a historic meeting between representatives of the Ioway Nation and the Tongva Nation marked the first time a California tribe gathered with a Midwestern tribe. In May of 2010, Richards curated the Asian Pacific Islander & Native American Heritage Festival celebrating the cultures and in support of the Japanese American National Museum where it was held. On November 13, 2010, Richards curated the exhibit Necessary Discomforts: an Artistic Tribute to Rozz Williams at the Hyaena Gallery in Burbank, featuring artwork by Rozz Williams and those he inspired. Artists participating included nationally recognized macabre artists and members of Christian Death, Shadow Project, EXP, among others.
Richards co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the annual St. David's Day Festival-National Day of Wales which encompasses an eisteddfod, Celtic marketplace, classes, art show, children's activities, and a concert. Richards currently is Director-Emeritus for the Welsh League of Southern California, an entity built out of the necessity to grow the festival and establish other Welsh events in the area.
A Raven Above Press, Richards small press, released his first book Simon Snootle and OTHER small stories in February 2009. His second book A Boy Born from Mold and Other Delectable Morsels was released in 2010. In writing fiction, Richards is known for elements of dark satire.
Along with paperback editions, Richards has a line of handmade books that he writes, illustrates, drafts, prints, binds and presses each by hand, making each slightly different from the other.
Richards created and hosted Dark Letter Days, a cartoon video podcast, featuring his original poetry.
In September 2013, A Raven Above Press released Celtic Family Magazine, a quarterly print and digital publication focused on Celtic interests, history and culture. By fall of 2015, A Raven Above Press additionally released Bringing the Circle Together Magazine, a quarterly print and digital publication focused on Native American, First Nations, and Indigenous American cultures.
Richards follows a pescetarian diet.
In 2006, Richards received a B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles majoring in anthropology with emphasis in American Indian Studies and folklore. Prior to this, he attained an A.A. at Cuyahoga Community College.
Richards is married and has a daughter.
- Simon Snootle and OTHER small stories (A Raven Above Press, 2009-handmade leather bound limited edition, 2016-paperback).
- 13 Disturbing Postcards to Send to Your Grandparents (2010)
- A Boy Born from Mold and Other Delectable Morsels (A Raven Above Press, 2010-handmade leather bound limited edition, 2014-paperback).
- A Little Hard to Swallow: 1334 (A Raven Above Press, 2010-handmade linen bound limited edition).
- The Terribly Mini Monster Book & a Lesser Known Story About a Rare Benign Belbow (A Raven Above Press, 2011-small handmade limited edition).
- A Welsh Alphabet (A Raven Above Press, 2011) edited by Jason Shepherd and Kevin Richards, commentary and preface by Welsh storyteller Peter Anthony Freeman. The book features over 30 artists primarily from Wales and the United States.
- Me'ma and the Great Mountain foreword by Corine Fairbanks. (A Raven Above Press, 2012-handmade linen bound limited edition, 2016-paperback).
- Welsh in the Old West (A Raven Above Press, 2015)
- Dark Letter Days: Collected Works (A Raven Above Press, 2016)
- The Night Speaks to Me: A Posthumous Account of Jim Morrison (2016)
- The People of Turtle Island: Book One in the Series (2016)
- Memento Mori: The Goodbye Family Album (2017)
- The Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills (2017)
- Wanted: Dead or Alive... but not stinkin' (2017)
- The Goodbye Family Unveiled (2017)
- Down West (2018)
- Nicklesworth: Featuring the Goodbye Family (2018)
- Gallows Humor: Hangin' with the Goodbye Family (2018)
- Dead Man's Hand-Kerchief: Dealing with the Goodbye Family (2019)
- The Importance of Being Otis: Undertaking with the Goodbye Family (2019)
- Yippee Ki-Yayenne Mother Pepper: Getting Saucy with the Goodbye Family (2019)
- Imperfectualism (2020)
- The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain (2020) with foreword by Richard-Lael Lillard
Albums (as Elder Moon)
- ENKI (1999)
- An Occurrence Remembered (2001)
- We See But Dimly (2002)
- Notes from thee real underground (Underground Inc) (2001)
- Mutations: A Tribute to Alice Cooper (Underground Inc) (2002)
- Orpheus (2010)
- A Boy Born from Mold and Other Delectable Morsels narrated by Jason Shepherd, jingle by Jay Hwang and Jie TS (2011)
- Simon Snootle and OTHER small stories narrated by Jason Shepherd, jingle arranged and composed by by Jay Hwang, J.West, and Jie TS (2012)
- A Dreaded Summons and Other Misplaced Bills narrated by Jason Shepherd, jingle arranged and composed by Jay Hwang (Butterfly Music), Lyrics by Jie TS, Background Vocals: Future (J.West) & Jay Hwang, Recording by Engineer: Jay Hwang & Future (J.West) at Butterfly. Mixed and Mastering Engineer: Q at Q Studio, Assistant Advisor: Susumin (ZanSori) (2017)
- I believe dreams connect us to our ancestors and it is through creativity that we can tap into this in the conscious state. Creativity is a sort of trance that we have as artists that erases time and space.
- Response in interview (25 August 2010).
- Based on my own experience, I guess immense suffering is part of the magic of Hollywood.
- Speaking October 16, 2010, at APE Expo.
- This is all grassroots. Everyone's voice counts. The time is now because Barack Obama, our president, had said it's not the president that actually makes the change, it's going to be our pressure upon the president on that will make the change. So the time is now. The next parole hearing is, I believe, in 15 years, and he's going to be about 79, I think, at that time. That's much too long.
- Response in interview at a gathering co-organized by Morgan-Richards for the release of Leonard Peltier (September 24, 2009).
Use art, be creative. No more war. No more children dying. A pawn that does not move in chess upsets the game. I know there is love in the world still and that is what I wish to surround myself with. Sacrifice your time and energy into something positive instead of the negative and you will see that change around you.
Quotes about Lorin Morgan-Richards
- Lorin Morgan-Richards has woven the most whimsically woeful stories this side of Edward Gorey!
- Sarah Jahier as quoted in Fatally Yours Magazine (12 November 2009)
- “Poems of Life”, by Robert Dennison Morgan, Columbus, OH: New Franklin Printing Co. VG. 1914
- Scene Magazine, 2000 Scene Magazine Music Awards, Erick Trickey, published April 27, 2000
- Last Sigh Magazine, Enki, by Tek, published May 28, 2000
- The Cleveland Free Times, THE POWER OF ENKI, by Laura DeMarco, Published November 17–23, 1999
- Civil War Times Illustrated, December 2001
- Gothic Beauty Magazine, Issue 31, 2010