The Mythic Masculine
The Mythic Masculine
Iron John - A Mythic Story About Men

Iron John - A Mythic Story About Men

Announcing my new self-paced online course on Robert Bly's seminal book of the mythopoetic men's movement.

A few years ago, I was invited to steward an online offering for the Rowe Center, based in Massachusetts.

With the passing of Robert Bly, esteemed poet, activist, and father of the mythopoetic men's movement, I opted to weave a 7 week journey revisiting his seminal book Iron John, inviting an array of special guests to join me. The roster includes Stephen Jenksinon, Sophie Strand, Ramon Parish, Michael Gay, Philip Folsom, Shay Au Lait & Stefanos Sifandos.

The course was a big success, and since then, I’ve always wanted to re-release it for more folk of all genders to access the insights & experience.

I’m pleased to announce the course is now available.

Learn more about Iron John & Register

A few more words about Robert Bly & the story:

As named, he is perhaps most well known for his retelling of the classic German fairy tale, which illuminated the inner world of men in such a way that seemed long absent from modern Western culture. This longing to be gathered into the mysteries of men and manhood, of a mythic masculinity, drew much contention upon its release in the early 90's, and has reverberated to this day.

It wasn't until I watched the documentary '1000 Years of Joy' that I grasped the larger portrait of a man who had already amassed a respectful body of work before he turned to culture and gender. My love for Mr. Bly grew tremendously, as a blazing example of what could lie ahead in the later half of life, a glimpse of elderhood to a troubled time.

Note: I also interviewed the films director Hayden Reiss which I’ve included at the bottom. Whether or not you’ve seen the documentary, it’s delightful to hear his stories of meeting & collaborating with Bly.

In 2022, the spiral has come around as a new generation discovers Iron John alongside an urgent crisis of masculinity. What might Iron John offer in the wake of #metoo, Artificial Intelligence, post-truth, multi-generational trauma, and biospheric breakdown?

Despite some contemporary references that are dated, the book holds up as a vital to the conversation of manhood as it did in its day.

At the time, Bly was criticized by some feminists for "blaming women" for men’s troubles - and yet, that has never been accurate. He writes "This doesn't mean that the women are doing something wrong: I think the problem is more that the older men are not really doing their job."

That's not to say there aren't blindspots (there are), and thankfully a number of additional perspectives have added to the polyphony of emerging masculinities.

Here’s my interview with Hadyn Reiss, the director of the Bly documentary 1000 Years of Joy. I highly recommend viewing the full film.

The Mythic Masculine
The Mythic Masculine
Explorations on mythology, culture and the emerging masculinities. Hosted by visionary filmmaker Ian MacKenzie.