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The university paid 5,000 from school funds and private donors.In February 2008, Bly was named Minnesota's first poet laureate.During the 1970s, he published eleven books of poetry, essays, and translations, celebrating the power of myth, Indian ecstatic poetry, meditation, and storytelling.During the 1980s he published Loving a Woman in Two Worlds, The Wingéd Life: Selected Poems and Prose of Thoreau, The Man in the Black Coat Turns, and A Little Book on the Human Shadow.

Throughout the ten-day event, poetry, music, and dance were utilized to examine human consciousness.

The following year, he published "A Wrong Turning in American Poetry", an essay in which he argued that the vast majority of American poetry from 1917 to 1963 was lacking in soul and "inwardness" as a result of a focus on impersonality and an objectifying, intellectual view of the world that Bly believed was instigated by the Modernists and formed the aesthetic of most post-World War II American poetry.

He criticized the influence of American-born Modernists like Eliot, Pound, Marianne Moore, and William Carlos Williams and argued that American poetry needed to model itself on the more inward-looking work of European and South American poets like Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Antonio Machado, and Rainer Maria Rilke.

Bly determined then to start a literary magazine for poetry translation in the United States.

The Fifties, The Sixties, and The Seventies introduced many of these poets to the writers of his generation. During this time, Bly lived on a farm in Minnesota, with his wife and children.

He maintains a friendly correspondence with Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.

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