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Photo: Robin Holland

Robert Bly

Poet

Minnesota Poet Laureate Robert Bly is a National Book Award for Poetry winner, and has written more than 40 books of poetry and prose. He is also founder of the Conference of the Great Mother and New Father, a project dedicated to exploring humanity’s enduring traditions of creative expression.

Born in western Minnesota in 1926, Robert Bly enlisted in the Navy when he was 18, and later attended Harvard University and the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop.

In 1966, he co-founded American Writers Against the Vietnam War and helped lead much of the opposition among writers to the war. Almost 40 years later, he wrote one of the first poems against the Iraq war in August 2002.

Bly has touched upon a wide range of topics in his books and translations, including the power of myth, Indian poetry, meditation, and storytelling. His Iron John: A Book About Men became an international bestseller, helping to bring more men into the world of poetry. Recent books of poetry and prose include My Sentence Was A Thousand Years of Joy, Eating the Honey of Words, The Sibling Society and Kabir: Ecstatic Poems. He was Minnesota’s first poet laureate.

His new collection, Talking into the Ear of a Donkey, was published in 2011.