Now Available: Belly-Up Rosehip: A Tongue Blue with Mud Songs

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. 70224287_423656881612214_1457545139567198208_n

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

69907995_2336701843234668_179766289965776896_n“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
Assistant Professor
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!

Weekly Write: “To Keep Away Crows Feet” by Tyler Dettloff

To Keep Away Crows Feet

I watched a dozen red wing black birds
fight over a single maggot in the church parking lot
as funeral barkers repeated the priest.
The birds smeared that crawler into a grease
to bake on the blacktop. Maggot resin
waxed their beaks. Soon I will gather fiddle head ferns
and place their fuzz on my tongue.
I thought about paving my driveway,
left it dirt instead.
I won’t reseed the lawn either.
I can smell the bog’s breath.
Thickets are not fallow.

Last winter I crept to the crawlspace
slept away four moons. When I awoke
I could only stomach tubers and a few berries.
But I wanted meat in my mouth.

Mayflies hatch and we tie bait
to match. Fingertips gaunt and sharp
from feathers and thread, a tight quilt
knit to moisten trout tongues.
Fly rod flits cast spells over swamp streams.
I do not understand trout rising in the thaw
but I damn sure know the comfort
in the underbelly of a bog.
Worms and maggots ask questions
all winter long between roots and decay.
I plug my ears with mourning dove songs.
I tilt with the earth away from the sun.
Together we burrow blindly
like voles chase winter grubs.

If we traveled like birds we’d grow fat and pretty.
My hands would soften.
I’d moisturize my crows feet and fallow heart.
At every funeral I’d say the same thing.
I’d knead spruce sap against my gums
and ask the needles to have mercy on my tongue.

 

Tyler Dettloff is an Anishinaabe Métis, Italian, and Irish writer, professor, musician, gardener, and water protector raised on the edge of the Delirium Wilderness. He currently lives in Gnoozhekaaning (Bay Mills, Michigan) and teaches College Composition at Lake Superior State University. He has earned a B.S. in English and a dual track M.A. in Literature and Pedagogy from Northern Michigan University. His work has been featured in Voice on the Water, Crab Fat Magazine, and Heartwood Literature Magazine. Mostly, he enjoys walking along rivers with his wife Daraka and through swamps his dogs Banjo and Fiddle.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Chapbook Open Call 2019 Selections

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC has concluded our Open Call for Chapbook Submissions. We had literally over three times as many submissions as last year and many, many quality works to choose from. This was no easy task.

We are excited to be welcoming four new poets to our Parade.

Many thanks guest judges Maxine Peseke and Gina Marselle who did a wonderful job selecting the manuscripts. Not only did they read, discuss, and select the manuscripts, but they did an AMAZING job writing the reply letters. Like many writers, I receive lots of regret letters and many are generic and curt. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem like the publisher read the submission. But these two ladies did an amazing job reaching out and giving personalized feedback to every submitter.  I am grateful to have them on the team and representing Swimming with Elephants Publications.

We would like to thank everyone who submitted and all of our amazing supporters who have kept us afloat over these past five years. We are grateful and very appreciative.

Keep your eyes on the site and the Facebook page for updates on the progress of our new publications.

 

And now…

…without further ado, the selected manuscripts are…..

….in no particular order….

drum roll

…actually they are in alphabetical order….

drum roll

Belly-up Rosehip: a Tongue Blue with Mud Songs

by Tyler Dettloff

I’ve Been Cancelling Appointments with My Psychiatrist for Two Years Now

by Sean Dever

Shorn: apologies & vows

by Benjamin Bormann

Thalassophile

by Abigayle Goldstein