Robert Bly

Robert Bly

Past Event: Monday, March 6, 2006

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Robert Bly is one of the most prominent and influential poets, editors, and translators of the postwar generation.

Born in 1926, Bly grew up on a farm in western Minnesota. After receiving degrees from Harvard University and the University of Iowa, he was awarded a Fulbright grant to visit Norway and translate Norwegian poetry into English. He returned determined to bring the work of foreign poets to light in the United States, and has worked tirelessly since, as an editor and translator, to do so. Bly’s translations of poems by writers as geographically and historically diverse as Basho, Neruda, Lorca, and Transtromer helped introduce American poets and readers to a wealth of imagistic poetry.

Bly’s own poetry is similarly imagistic, while also meditative and visionary, witty and thought provoking. It is “receptive to the primitive and the sophisticated, the ‘wild’ and the ingenious” (Library Journal). The author of more than thirty books of poetry, he is a Rockefeller fellow, National Book Award winner, and two-time Guggenheim fellow. Bly has also been an outspoken social critic, anti-war activist, and leader in the men’s movement. He lives in Minneapolis.