Prominent Minnesota poet, writer Robert Bly dies at 95

Published 1:39 pm Monday, November 22, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — 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 Associated Press.

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.

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.