The papers of poet Robert Bly were purchased earlier this month by the University of Minnesota Libraries for $775,000. The archive, which includes more than eighty thousand pages of manuscripts, journals, notebooks, and correspondence with poets such as Donald Hall, James Dickey, and James Wright, will be housed in the special collections department of the Elmer L. Anderson Library, along with the papers of Wright and John Berryman. The purchase was made with money from the university and contributions from approximately seventy private donors, including radio host Garrison Keillor.
Bly, who was born in Minnesota in 1926, is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the past forty-five years, Bly has published more than thirty books, including the poetry collections The Night Abraham Called to the Stars (HarperCollins, 2001), Loving a Woman in Two Worlds (Dial Press, 1985), This Body Is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (Harper and Row, 1977), and The Light Around the Body (Harper and Row, 1967), which won the 1968 National Book Award in poetry. His book on masculinity, Iron John: A Book About Men (Addison-Wesley, 1990), was a New York Times best-seller.