Swimming with Elephants Publications is proud to announce the release of Belly-Up Rosehip: A Tongue Blue with Mud Songs by Tyler Dettloff (with illustrations by Claire Moore). Belly-Up Rosehip is the final publication chosen from our 2019 Open Call for Submissions, leaving with it much promise and enchantment before we open our virtual door again for this upcoming open call.
Deep-rooted in radiant pride for his Native culture, with a jazzy bluesy-feel woven with lyrical quality, this collection is more superb to finally behold in its fully-fleshed form; and though reading it alone was an awakening, to see it in print with illustrations to partner the poetry has made it all the more wondrous and indeed a publication that we, at SWEP, are happy to home.
Here’s what’s being said about Tyler Dettloff’s work:
This evocative collection invites a gathering of the lost and the found beneath a sheltering shingwak. Peopled with trout and tamarack, Tyler Detloff’s words taste of iron, of spruce gum and honey.
— Robin Wall Kimmerer
“I want my mouth to bloom,” writes Tyler Dettloff. How this mature first collection fulfills that wish! Influenced by jazz and blues, agriculture and fly-fishing, animals and birds, and his Anishinaabe Metis roots, family and culture, Detloff’s poems speak and sing at the same time. His words are mouth-pleasing, like his lines about spruce sap kneading gums, and teeth brushed with maple blossoms and hawk feathers. Tragic political injustices are confronted, but the poems triumph in their celebratory vigour. Even the titles—“Honey High and Nectar Prone,” “Surefooted Spring-fed Salt Lick,” “Thousands of Frogs Croaking Purple”—suggest the sensuous glories and vibrant voices of this book.
— Brian Bartlett
Has there ever been a lovelier word for medicine—indeed, a lovelier medicine—than rosehip? That’s what I thought as I read and was riveted by Tyler Dettloff’s Belly-up Rosehip, a book that loves thorns as much as bloom and sings of stink as beautifully as sweetgrass. When he writes of licking a fishing lure’s hook, or asking the pine needles “to have mercy on my tongue,” Dettloff describes caring for a place so much that you want your mouth where its mouths are, your tongue against its sharpest leaves. No wonder the wilderness in these poems is delirious. Sensual and serious and sometimes necessarily sad, this book charts an intimacy with a Northern Michigan landscape peopled by namegos (lake trout), migizi (bald eagle), and “whips of red willow buds” as well as human mothers, fathers, and lovers. “This is the place I was telling you,” the poet says, inviting us to listen to what the place tells him as he becomes the man the place makes him.
— Dr. Cecily Parks
Department of English & MFA Program in Creative Writing
Welcome to the parade, Tyler!
* You can support Tyler by buying Belly-Up Rosehip: A Tongue Blue with Mud Songs on Amazon. And as with all of SWEP’s titles, please review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!