Pet Robert Bly reads in his hometown of Madison, Minn., in 2009.

Poet Robert Bly reads in his hometown of Madison, Minn., in 2009. Photo by Laurie Hertzel

It sounds fun, doesn't it, gathering with like souls in the forest in the dark of January to tell stories and recite poetry and sing songs. OK, maybe not. Depends on your definition of fun. But anyway, whether or not 50 percent of us think it fun is moot: This is a Bly event, and it's for men only.

"Into the Belly of Ice and Snow: Rekindling the Fire of Men's Purpose and Joy," a retreat for men hosted by poet Robert Bly, will  take place in Mound at the end of this month. "For thousands of years, during the short days and long nights of the boreal winter, men have left the comforts of the village to gather in woodland lodges and share their ancient stories, their poetry, laughter, music, ritual, deep feeling and the resonant silence of the whitened woods," the event's Website reads. "Some wild old fire would kindle in the belly."

Bly will be joined by British storyteller Martin Shaw and musician and drummer Miguel Rivera, who has taught with Bly at the annual Minnesota Men's Conference.

Fires will be kindled in the bellies of no more than 84 men, so register soon. The event is Jan. 28-30, and cost is $195. More information is here. But women aren't completely ignored; Shaw and Rivera will host a public event at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at Mayflower Church, 106 E. Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis. Registration for that event is not required; admission is $15.

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