Poet and Author Who Sparked 1990s Men's Movement Dies

Robert Bly, best known for Iron John, was 94
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2021 2:50 PM CST
Poet and Author Who Sparked 1990s Men's Movement Dies
File photo of poet and author Robert Bly.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Robert Bly, one of the most prominent American poets of the last half century and author of the best-selling men’s movement classic Iron John, has died. He was 95. His daughter, Mary Bly, said her father died Sunday at his home in Minneapolis after suffering from dementia for 14 years. "Dad had no pain … His whole family was around him so how much better can you do?" she told the AP.

Bly was born and raised in the western Minnesota town of Madison. In 1968, he won the National Book Award for his second poetry collection, The Light Around the Body, a book of Vietnam War protest poems. Bly donated his $1,000 prize money to the draft resistance movement. Bly wrote more than 50 volumes of poetry, the New York Times reports. He also wrote nonfiction, and translated works by European and Latin American writers. But Bly found his greatest fame for a work of prose called Iron John: A Book About Men. His meditation on modern masculinity was released in 1990, and spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list. Mary Bly said funeral services would be private. She urged fans to send memorial donations to their favorite poetry associations.

(More obituary stories.)

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