Robert Bly awarded Frost Medal by Poetry Society of America

The Poetry Society of America has bestowed its highest honor, the Robert Frost Medal, to Robert Bly. The award is for “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.”


Robert Bly

Photo courtesy of the Poetry Society of America

Bly, a native Minnesotan, will join a distinguished roster that includes such literary luminaries as Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks and Allen Ginsberg.

In addition to being an accomplished poet in his own right, Bly introduced North American audiences to a multitude of poets of European and Latin American origin in his publication The Fifties (later named The Sixties and The Seventies). He’s probably best known for his book Iron John: A Book About Men.

Bly lives with his wife Ruth in Minneapolis. He suffers from Alzheimer’s, but still has been recently active in poetry events.

  • Jim Watt

    All Blessings on the Poetry Society for this honor. Robert has always been dedicated to the highest standards of excellence in his poetry and has always called our attention to the ideals that the founders the United States of America pursued and that so many have suffered and died for. In this time in our political history, when so many have surrendered so much for so little, it is good to be reminded, again, that our failures to live up to our ideals should never be used as an excuse for forgetting them.

  • Sioban Lanigan

    Robert Bly’s translations gave poems a beautiful life and made them accessible to English readers. He also encouraged Coleman Barks to do the same for Rumi. And once a year, he has hosted a conference of writers and poets and helped them to gather in beauty. He also hosted men’s conferences. I used to give his book Iron John to my male friends as a matter of friendship.

    Thank you for honoring Robert Bly in this way.

  • Maya Borhani

    Robert Bly’s encouragement of younger poets, of their soul lives and the study of their personal ancestry, has guided many of us out into the stream of American poetics in bold and humble ways. His unwavering political-poetic resistance, from Viet Nam through today’s debacle in Iraq, continues to inspire poets – and citizens – to speak up against the war. And to sing a song for beauty. Blessed Be, Robert, on this richly deserved honor and recognition.

  • Tom Carter

    Robert deserves this award and it’s time to update him to the list you come across listing important American Poets. He certainly has been my favorite. I wouldn’t claim to be a poet without his inspiration