I am water—ever changing and free flowing. I change, yet my essence remains the same. Liquid, solid, or gas, I am still water. If I should be vocal and speak, I will. If I should be silent and listen, I will. However, like water in the form of a river, I erode my own path. When I am good, goodness will return as surface runoff to my stream. When I am strong, ecosystems will be supported by me. And when I have love in my heart, I will flow through the way, because I am water.
Brian Bieber is a Sioux Falls-based writer and filmmaker. In 2020, he released I Really Get Into It, an independently produced feature documentary about the personal and cultural impact of the Sioux Falls punk music scene in the 1980s and 1990s. His work has been featured by McSweeney's and Funny or Die, and has been supported by the Jerome Foundation (MN), SASE (MN), the South Dakota Arts Council, and the Sioux Falls Arts Council. He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, his four year-old daughter, and their jittery little dog.
Chel (she/her) is a confessional poet from Sioux Falls, SD and questions what it means to write through the body and reimagine the feminine. She admires artists and thinkers like Hélène Cixous, Maggie Nelson, Sarah Ahmed, Sylvia Plath, bell hooks, and more. She has a master's degree from the University of South Dakota in English and specializes in creative writing. In the past, she's read submissions for the South Dakota Review. Now, she wants to connect with other local artists and poets and get involved in new projects.
Chris (C.C.) Berke is an independent author living in Sioux Falls, SD. He has now self-published two books and is currently developing a self-publishing resource called SoDak Publishing. His goals are to assist local authors by creating a comprehensive self-publishing guide and also provide an online marketplace for these same authors to list their books.
In his spare time, Chris likes to run, travel, spend time with his wife Abby and his two cats Henry and Winston.
I am 30 years old as I am writing this in September 2022. I am originally from the state of Michigan. I moved to Sioux Falls last year after living in the Nashville area of Tennessee for two and a half years. I also should have a visual arts listing here. However, I have been reading and writing for much longer than I have been producing art. Since about 2015, having been medically discharged from the Army, I have spent much of my life in disciplined study. Most of this these studies were not related to academia, but because I was awarded a G.I. Bill, I did also get a degree at Western Michigan University. The subjects I enjoy studying are philosophy, history, language, logic, poetry and theology. At some point I decided that "I, too, am a writer". As of now I have written nine poems, three improvised psalms, and some fragments of philosophy. I have also compiled a list of suggested readings for those who seek wisdom and understanding. I haven't published anything yet. Feel free to contact me if you also seek these things. Here is one of my poems, which I was inspired to write after spending time in the Mikkelsen Library at Augustana:
In the Library
Books arraign themselves in aisles like chanting monks
I anoint myself with prayers before descending into a sea of words and pictures
The first page sparks my interest - I am captivated
But I wear wisdom as a necklace and I remember the words of the Teacher who said,
“All is in vain, and of the making of many books there is no end”
Still, there is more joy for me in this than there is in a child with candy
All knowledge is at my fingertips, and also is my tumbler of coffee
I am at the height of gratitude
I welcome your judgment. It bothers me not.
All I ask is to dwell in this sanctuary of the Word of God without disturbance
Milk Carton Press is an indie publisher based out of Sioux Falls, SD, USA. We align with beat and bohemian culture and like poetry that favors grit over polish, says something wild and true. We print full-length collections as well as experimental chapbooks through our Got Poetry? series. Our themed magazine issues are published a few times a year and our blog is updated weekly.
Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters once said, "Duct Tape isn't perfect for anything, but is adequate for everything." I can't think of a better metaphor for myself. I'm duct tape. Capable in a jack mess of trades--from manly trades such as home construction and grilling to poindexter pursuits such as philosophy and Greek--but haven't mastered any so as to become a professional.
I live in Tea, SD and currently work as a fundraiser for Books 4 Kids Program. I have three boys, rowdy and strong-willed. In order to afford our sole income budget, I have to use my duct-tape-like versatility. I do what I can to keep projects simple and inexpensive and try to use and reuse what is available.
My great occupational passion is writing. As a youth, I'd spend hours in my room typing stories. Stories of all kinds. Stories that were never finished. Then, I grew up. Hints flowed my way, that maybe, I ought to choose a 'realistic' career path. So I did what any confused teen would do. I joined the army.
Four Army and another four college years later, I learned I'm too scatterbrained, for a 'realistic' career path. I began writing again. My only constant pursuit of occupational joy. (I love doing and learning new things, I just have a hard time sticking with them.) And, I actually started finishing works. Work like: Caveat Ties, Soul Shocked, and Zaide: Mozart's Lost Opera