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Robert Bly


Robert Bly
Photo Information
Copyright: Ali Akbar Abdolrashidi (abdolrashidi) (2)
Genre: People
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-18
Categories: Portrait
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-05-28 4:05
Viewed: 1718
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Robert Bly, Amnerican Poet, was born in western Minnesota in 1926 to parents of Norwegian stock. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and spent two years there. After one year at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, he transferred to Harvard and thereby joined the famous group of writers who were undergraduates at that time, which included Donald Hall, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery, Harold Brodky, George Plimpton, and John Hawkes. He graduated in 1950 and spent the next few years in New York living, as they say, hand to mouth.
Beginning in 1954, he took two years at the University of Iowa at the Writers Workshop along with W. D. Snodgrass, Donald Justice, and others. In 1956 he received a Fulbright grant to travel to Norway and translate Norwegian poetry into English. While there he found not only his relatives but the work of a number of major poets whose force was not present in the United States, among them Pablo Neruda, Cesar Vallejo, Gunnar Ekelof, Georg Trakl and Harry Martinson. He determined then to start a literary magazine for poetry translation in the United States and so begin The Fifties and The Sixties and The Seventies, which introduced many of these poets to the writers of his generation, and published as well essays on American poets and insults to those deserving. During this time he lived on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and children.
In 1966 he co-founded American Writers Against the Vietnam War and led much of the opposition among writers to that war. When he won the National Book Award for The Light Around the Body, he contributed the prize money to the Resistance. During the 70s he published eleven books of poetry, essays, and translations, celebrating the power of myth, Indian ecstatic poetry, meditation, and storytelling. During the 80s he published Loving a Woman in Two Worlds, The Wingéd Life: Selected Poems and Prose of Thoreau,The Man in the Black Coat Turns, and A Little Book on the Human Shadow.
His work Iron John: A Book About Men is an international bestseller which has been translated into many languages. He frequently does workshops for men with James Hillman and others, and workshops for men and women with Marion Woodman. He and his wife Ruth, along with the storyteller Gioia Timpanelli, frequently conduct seminars on European fairy tales.

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