Jonathan Williams, Francine du Plessix Gray (Cornwall Bridge, CT), 1969. Type C print. Collection of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. Gift of Jonathan Williams.

Francine du Plessix Gray grew up with a troubled childhood which she chronicled Them: a memoir of parents (2005). After moving to Manhattan with her mother and stepfather, she began her education at Barnard College and graduated with a degree in philosophy. She then went on to study at BMC for two summers studying with Charles Olson, a tutelage which she described as formative but fraught with sexism.

 Du Plessix Gray kickstarted her career at the United Press but she later went on to work for a French fashion magazine before eventually contributing to various different publications such as The New Yorker and Art in America. She published 13 works of non-fiction.