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Wayne State University Press

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Under the Influence of Water

Poems, Essays, and Stories

Michael Delpillustrated by Ladislav R. Hanka

Creative Nonfiction, Michigan, Poetry

Published: July 1992
ISBN: 9780814323915
Pages: 96 Size: 5.5 x 9

Honest, innocent and lusting—by turns abstract and then specific, in the manner of all loves.

— Rick Bass

Although the theme is fly fishing, this book is really about the more esoteric, spiritual aspects of fishing. Through his poetry, essays, and short fiction, Delp writes about being haunted by fishing, about being taken over, literally, by the desire to fish and spend time alone on trout streams. He describes the experience as "a pause, a deep breath in the crush of living. It seems incredibly simple, yet trout fishing illuminates an inner life, asks the mind and body to give themselves over to another power:'

Under the Influence of Water is about moments—how time goes away on a river. It's about waking up and finding out that what runs in your veins is river water mixed with blood. It's also about trying to find the courage to one day stand in a river and admit your life. Delp says that's what happens when you fly fish . . . you get your life back, if only for a few moments. When you go back to your other life, the river is still with you. If it's not, then you haven't really been on a river.

Michael Delp is the director of creative writing at Interlochen Arts Academy. His work has appeared in national publications such as Playboy, The Flyfisher, and Detroit Magazine. He is the author of several books including A Memory of Flesh Sticking to Bone, A Dream of the Resurrection, and Over the Graves of Horses.

Honest, innocent and lusting-by turns abstract and then specific, in the manner of all loves. Delp hears, sees, tastes and writes about another world, one that he sees just at the edge of the trees, just into the shadows. This book was written by a man with a clean heart.

– Rick Bass, is an American writer and an environmental activist.