HIDDEN WINE presents

26th Annual Mens Conference , 2011

September 14th- 19th, 2010
26th Annual MN Men's Conference
Camp Miller, Sturgeon Lake




We will meet once more as we have for many years, breathing in the north woods and watching the young men learn some lessons from the older men and the older men from the younger men. The power of story guides us.

How can we, as ordinary men, bring some new life to our withering world? Recession and climate change do not affect men's inner longing for brotherhood and a better life. As we put our stick in the mud of recession and incessant war, how can some old stories and the companionship of men help us to abandon familiar comfort and search for something new?

The old stories remind us that change happens only when we look clearly at what we have done poorly or in haste. Hidden at the heart of this journey, something or someone, whom we cannot see, is willing to guide and to teach us. When we trust the difficult lessons and gather the vital medicine, the healing will be apparent. Join us at this year's Minnesota Men's Conference, as we dance, sing, and tell tall tales, and blow our breath into the embers of old stories and look for the ground of rebirth in our private lives and our public life.

We are delighted to have as teachers this year
Robert Bly, Malidoma Somé, Miguel Rivera, Danny Deardorff, Martin Shaw, Doug von Koss, Tom Gambell, Thomas R. Smith, Timothy Young, Jay Leeming and assorted other poets and ne'er-do-wells.

For more information call:
Craig Ungerman (860) 923-6987,
(860-942-1658 mobile)

email: hiddenwine@earthlink.net


I have a feeling that my boat

has struck, down there in the depths,

against a great thing.

                        And nothing

happens! Nothing … Silence ... Waves ...

—Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,

and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?

—Juan Ramon Jiménez ( trans. Robert Bly)

Last Year's Conference Information:

Gifted teachers will collaborate and celebrate this year . Mythtellers Daniel Deardorff and Martin Shaw will join us togther in a story. Malidoma Somé and Miguel Rivera, with their deep feeling for the indigenous world of nature and ritual, will help us stay connected to these primary sources of the masculine heart. Tom Gambell, with his compassionate, open-hearted Aikido, and Doug Von Koss, with his love song arrows, will engage us in two ancient expressions: the power of movement and the power of song. Timothy Young, Thomas R. Smith, and Jay Leeming will lead us through the forest of words to find our own poems of depth and praise. Robert Bly will be with us reading new poems & old poems, and creating mischief as usual.

Robert Bly
Malidoma Somé
Miguel Rivera
Daniel Deardorff
Martin Shaw
Tom Gambell
Doug von Koss
Timothy Young
Jay Leeming
Thomas R. Smith

... and many friends and other teachers

Robert Bly, internationally recognized and award-winning author and poet, helped found the modern men's movement. He has taught men how to create a home for what is best in them. He inspires both men and women to lead a life of intensity and beauty that brings them together into community.

Interview in the Rake Magazine January 2004

The Wind Isn't Depressed:
Robert Bly Talks With Michael Ventura About Art, Madness, And The Joy Of Loss in the Sun Magazine
May 2004- Robert Bly and Michael Ventura

download interview with Robert Bly and Michael Ventura in the Sun Magazine 2004

Daniel Deardorff : As a gifted singer, musician, and storyteller, he brings the luminous mythological to the conference. Danny Deardorff carries mysteries into a new place. "Myth is a story that tells a sacred truth without the use of facts."

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 in leading rituals and reaching out to new particpants. We are priviledged to have his guidance for our journey together during this conference

Tom Gambell: a 6th Degree Black Belt, is a returning teacher this year. He has taught Aikido for over 30 years, and is the Chief Instructor of East Bay Aikido in Oakland, CA. He teaches that once the principles of Aikido are embodied, they become a source of strength and guidance in everyday living. He will do workshops that will be open to all participants on the art of compassionate self-defense.

Jay Leeming is the author of Dynamite on a China Plate, a book of poems published by The Backwaters Press. His poems have appeared in a variety of magazines including Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Poetry East and Black Warrior Review. He has been a featured reader at Butler University, the Omega Institute, Robert Bly’s Great Mother Conference and the Woodstock Poetry Festival, and is the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives and teaches in Ithaca, New York.

Thomas R. Smith poet & editor, says of his teaching: "Like many teachers, I teach what I myself would like to learn. Fear causes us to close and shield our hearts. Poetry can be a powerful counterforce to fear, but there is no formula for making it so. Together we explore the way, poem by poem." His books of poetry include: Waking Before Dawn, Winter Hours, The Dark Indigo Current: Poems, Horse of Earth, and he edited the book Walking Swiftly: Writings & Images on the Occasion of Robert Bly's 65th Birthday. Thomas R. Smith is a Master Track instructor at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Last Year's Teachers

Malidoma Somé: village elder, author, comes to us from the Dagara Tribe of West Africa. He an astonishing teacher, able to bring in ideas almost unheard of in the West. His first book was Of Water and The Spirit, and his new book is The Healing Wisdom of Africa.

Martin Shaw will be teaching from his brand new book 'A Branch From The Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness'. In it he is claiming we are societally addicted to the act of severance and have replaced Longing with Disappointment. This, in turn, creates a defense against our own beauty.

For a step towards authentic leadership in men he is suggesting the ancient idea of a 'Road of Solitude and Road of Voice'; a cherising of silence, wilderness and interior listening met with the ability to articulate clearly and passionately the desires of our own lives. With a cluster of Initiatory myths, deft commentary and time on the land, Shaw proposes a 'Culture of Wildness' is possible, indeed vital, for a restoration of soul in men's lives.

Doug von Koss joyously returns again this year to lead early morning chanting. Many participants return to this conference just to begin each day in “one voice” under his guidance. He teaches the vowel sounds as well as chants from the Near East and the West. He has published two CD's and a songbook, and travels widely to bring the magic of voice to communities worldwide. Join for a special tour of Bali each year! Greet the sunrise with him each day in a whirling circle of song!

Timothy Young, poet and teacher, lives and works in Minnesota. Red Dragonfly Press just published his new book of poems, Herds of Bears Surround Us. In 2003 The Thousands Press and the Minnesota Men’s Conference published his book, Building in Deeper Water. He taught at-risk juveniles and retired from The Minnesota Correctional Facility at Red Wing before starting The Two Boots Poetry Tour, which ventures into libraries, schools, correctional facilities and other venues with other poets and musicians. He has been with the Minnesota Men’s Conference in many capacities for its entire twenty-six years. In 2010 he released, Perfect Harmony, a CD of Sufi and Andalusian love poetry and original music with his violinist wife, Dalyce Elliott

For more information call:
Craig Ungerman (860) 923-6987,
(860-942-1658 mobile)
email: hiddenwine@earthlink.net

Contact us now via email form

Website contact form:
Contact us email form here


©2010 Hiddenwine

The Conference History

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 fatherless—and to work out rituals and ways of communication in order to offer to the younger men what the culture as whole does not.

Conference Site

This years conference will be held once again at Camp Miller, a beautiful YMCA camp on 100+ acres of woods, fields and waterfront,on Sturgeon Lake 100 miles north of the Twin Cities. The cabins, dining room and main meeting lodge are a combination of rustic and modern. The camp staff are superb the food is excellent and the sauna is always hot!


September 14th- 19th, 2010

with Robert Bly, Malidoma Somé, Miguel Rivera, Danny Deardorff, Martin Shaw, Doug von Koss, Tom Gambell, and many other teachers...

Past Themes

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 Ritual

1992—Men in Relationships

1993—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

2006—What Is Stealing the Courage of So Many Men?

2007—Keeping Our Feet on Human Ground

2008—Rekindling the Unselfish Way

2009—Where is Iron John now?


©2010 Hiddenwine

links to past Mn Men's Conferences

Recommended Books:

Robert Bly:
Iron John, A Book About Men, The Insanity of Empire; My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy; The Winged Energy of Delight; The Urge to Travel Long Distances; The Night Abraham Called To The Stars; Morning Poems; Eating the Honey of Words ..and many others...

Malidoma Somé: Of Water and Spirit

Daniel Deardorff: The Other Within: The Genius of Deformity in Myth, Culture, & Psyche

Martin Shaw: A Branch From The Lightning Tree, Wilderness, Myth, and the Life Not Yet Lived

Please bookmark this page and return for
updated program materials and information.
Contact us now via email form

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


September 14th- 19th, 2010

with Robert Bly, Malidoma Somé, Miguel Rivera, Danny Deardorff, Martin Shaw, Doug von Koss, Tom Gambell, and many other teachers...

©2010 Hiddenwine

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