Robert Bly in This World

Overview

In 1958, a powerful new voice in American poetry emerged from the windswept prairie farmland of western Minnesota. Beginning with publication of The Fifties, “a magazine of poetry, translation and general opinion,” Robert Bly’s transformative poetry, translations, essays, and poetry readings rolled across the country like an invigorating prairie storm.

In his eighty-third year, to celebrate acquisition of his archives, the Elmer L. Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota...

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Overview

In 1958, a powerful new voice in American poetry emerged from the windswept prairie farmland of western Minnesota. Beginning with publication of The Fifties, “a magazine of poetry, translation and general opinion,” Robert Bly’s transformative poetry, translations, essays, and poetry readings rolled across the country like an invigorating prairie storm.

In his eighty-third year, to celebrate acquisition of his archives, the Elmer L. Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota sponsored a major conference, Robert Bly in This World. This is the record of that historic event. Scholars and authors from America and England presented papers on Bly’s poetry, translations, criticism, mythopoetic storytelling, and other major achievements, including his annual Great Mother and Minnesota Men’s conferences. A trip to Madison, Minnesota, where Bly’s writing studio has been restored and preserved on the Lac Qui Parle County fairgrounds, is also chronicled here, plus intimate appreciations by Bly’s friends and admirers Coleman Barks, Donald Hall, Jane Hirshfield, Lewis Hyde, and others. A vintage documentary on Bly, A Man Writes to a Part of Himself, screened at the conference, is included as a DVD in a supplement to the book.

In Robert Bly’s long career as a poet and translator, he has authored more than forty volumes. His pioneering prose explorations of ancient stories include the international bestseller Iron John. His latest collection of poems, Talking into the Ear of a Donkey, was released in 2011.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816677702
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 5/26/2011
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas R. Smith is the author of five books of poems, most recently The Foot of the Rainbow (2010). He edited the festschrift Walking Swiftly: Writing and Images on the Occasion of Robert Bly’s 65th Birthday (1992). He teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

James P. Lenfestey, a former editorial writer for the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune, is the author of a collection of personal essays and four collections of poems. He convened the conference Robert Bly in This World.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface - James P. Lenfestey

Introduction - Thomas R. Smith

Lessons from Robert Bly’s Barn - Lewis Hyde Shadows on the Prairie: Where the Gift Gathers - Patricia Kirkpatrick Birth of a Revolution: The Fifties - William Duffy Under the Sign of Odin: Robert Bly’s Wild Little Magazine - Mark Gustafson Bly and Wright: A Passionate Poem - Anne Wright Antonio Machado’s Eyeglasses: The Influence of Robert Bly’s Translations on American Poetry - Ray Gonzalez So Much Happens When No One Is Watching - Daniel Deardorff Small Engine Repair: Thirty-five Years of the Annual Conference on the Great Mother and the New Father, Organized by Robert Bly - John Rosenwald Notes and Pieces on Speaking Poems and Stories, Learning by Heart - Gioia Timpanelli A Little Book Project with Robert Bly - William Booth Praising the Soul in Women and Men: Robert Bly and the Men’s Movement - Thomas R. Smith Robert Bly: Still Taking on the Wor(l)d - Victoria Frenkel Harris Robert Bly’s Poetry: The Later Years - Howard Nelson Robert Bly in the Shadow of Hafiz - Leonard Lewisohn Releasing Birds to the Air (and two poems) - Coleman Barks

Appendix I Appendix 2
Appendix 3

Contributor Notes

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