The Minnesota Men’s Conference was started by Robert Bly in 1984. This was shortly after the interview between Keith Thompson and Robert Bly called What do Men Really Want? This first conference, as well as all the ones following have included the telling of old stories, the gifts of poetry, making music together and opening our hearts to grief, which sometimes appears when men who trust each other gather together for a few days.
This conference has been blessed with many fine teachers such as Etheridge Knight, James Hillman, Michael Meade, and Terry Dobson in the 1980’s. Aaron Kipnis, John Lee and Robert Moore joined us in the 1990’s. In 1993 with the addition of Malidoma Somé, Miguel Rivera, Haki Madhubuti and Martín Prechtel, the conference moved towards a richer diversity of thought and a deeper connection to our ancestors. In the last few years we have begun to ask that men who have been given the honey of the old stories and soul teaching give some of this sweetness back to younger men. So again we are inviting 30 young men between the ages of 13 and 20 to attend this years conference.
We are asking all the men to reach back toward young men-both the fathered and the fatherlessand to work out rituals and ways of communication in order to offer to the younger men what the culture as whole does not.
1984 WHAT DO MEN DANCE ABOUT?
1985 BRINGING BACK THE GOLD! MEN, FAILURE AND HARVEST
1986 MEN'S WORK IN WORLD: LEAVING THE FATHER'S HOUSE
1987 ANIMAL TRUTHS, IMAGINATION AND DANGER: ON THE TRACK OF MALE NATURE
1988 PASSION AND PURPOSE IN THE MALE PSYCHE
1989 DEVELOPING THE KING: INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
1990 MEN IN COMMUNITY: MEN IN RITUAL1992-MEN IN RELATIONSHIPS1993-THE HOSTILE BROTHER
1994 THE GENEROUS MOTHERS AND THE ANGRY MOTHERS: GIVING GIFTS TO BOTH
1995 SHIMMERING FLOWERS ON THE COMMUNITY TREE: GROWING INTO OUR ANCESTOR's FACES
1996 THE ADOLESCENT SOCIETY AND THE WAY MEN ARE
1997 Reaching Back to Younger Men
1998 Tracking Our Own Souls: Men in Nature and the Nature of Men
1999 Old Grandmother Growth: Men, boys and the Trickster
2000 Feasting the Mother Bear
2001 Who is the Friend of the Hidden One?
2002 What will Heal the Wounded King?
2003 The Dragon of Grandiosity
2004 The Souls Survival When Things Fall Apart
2005 Three Roots, Three Roads, Three Dances