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tracking our own souls:
Men in nature and the nature of Men

Robert Bly, Martín Prechtel,
Haki Madhubuti, Miguel Rivera,
Doug Von Koss, Willem De Thouars

14th Annual Minnesota Men’s Conference
Sept. 16 - 20, 1998
Camp Miller, Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota

being welcomed home

In the not too distant past our ancestors tracked and hunted the animals and brought them back to the welcoming village. In this way, men’s natural souls were woven into the tapestry of human culture.
How do we as young men, old men and middle age men hunt the elusive beast of our own souls? Lacking the outer landscape of the ancient hunter, the inner soul still longs to hunt and provide for the people. The dream that all men have of being welcomed home hinges on our ability to eloquently reinvent and express a language of male beauty.

arrows tipped with eloquence

This year’s conference will focus on men of all ages coming together to explore this inner territory through poetry, body movement, music, old stories and the hidden and diverse talents of all the men who attend. In this hidden territory some older men can show the younger men how to make arrows tipped with eloquence. The middle age men can teach the youth how to carry this eloquence with grace and strength and through stories of their own failures how to avoid shooting themselves in the foot.
With these gifts, the young men now have the energy to pursue the elusive game of their animal spirits and the sight of the fire in their newfound souls brings the whole village back to life.

old men, young men

Last year we had over 30 young men between the ages of 13 and 20 attend the conference and it was very successful. This year we would like to invite the same number of young men back in addition to 30 older men over the age of 55.


We are honored to have two new teachers this year as well as a number of teachers returning to the Minnesota Men’s Conference:

Haki Madhubuti is one of the most powerful and important voices in the African American community. He has formed an intentional community in Chicago called the Institute of Positive Education and he is the owner and editor of Third World Press. He has published 14 books of poetry and several books of prose. Heartlove, his latest book just released this summer is a book of love and wedding poems. Haki will be with us the last three days of the conference.

Willem de Thouars is a world-renowned martial artist from Indonesia. A follower and teacher of Pencak Silat, an Indonesian martial art form noted for its grace and dance-like movement, Willem will be working primarily with the young men in this year’s conference. Willem has been described as a breath of fresh air in a martial arts world stale with hard non-yielding approaches.

Doug Von Koss, a teacher at the 1987 Minnesota Men’s Conference, returns this time full of song. He is one of the best teachers of voice on the planet. He will lead chanting sessions in the mornings and afternoons.

Miguel Rivera, a musician and drummer, is a man who is in love with the language of sound. A regular teacher at this conference since 1993 it is always an honor to have Miguel teach drumming, read poetry, and assist Martín in leading rituals.

We are very privileged to have Martín Prechtel lead this year's conference. He will tell us an old Grimm Brothers tale, read from his new book, Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: The Life of a Mayan Shaman and do a concert one night. Martín has th magnificent ability to speak eloquently about what all men need to do to find their natural souls and through ritual lead us back to a welcoming village

Scholarship Fund

The Minnesota Men’s Conference is supported entirely by participant fees and individual donations to the scholarship fund. Help reach out to a young man by sponsoring him to this year’s conference. Please send a check or money order for $10, $25, $50, even a full scholarship
Robert Bly, the founder of this and several other men’s conferences throughout the world, will not be teaching at other men’s conferences this year. We are honored to have his zany bristling exuberance at this conference. Robert will do a poetry reading one night, conduct a poetry writing session with Haki Madhubuti and lead us in a Zikr, a session of music, poetry and song.


tracking our own souls:
Men in nature and the nature of Men

14th Annual Minnesota Men’s Conference

Attendance will be limited to 90 adult men and 30 young men.

for more info see:

History of Men's Conferences

Martin Prechtel from 1997 mens conference flyer

Robert Bly from 1997 mens conference flyer 


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