By Dana Yost
The Full Circle Book Co-op in Sioux Falls is doing more than its part to promote poetry in the region.
Check that. The Book Co-op is not only promoting poetry, it is making it.
Full Circle co-owner Sion Lidster and co-op member Garrett Ammesmaki recently started Milk Carton Press, an independent press devoted to publishing books by local poets. The press has already published two books, most recently Ammesmaki’s own Shotgun Vernacular.
Lidster also recently appeared on South Dakota Public Broadcasting in a remarkable interview with Lori Walsh where he talked about poetry and read some of his own work.
But that’s not all Full Circle does, or has recently done.
It is host at least twice a month to open mic readings, including one devoted exclusively to poetry on the last Saturday of each month.
It’s been host to readings by published poets, including former South Dakota Poet Laureate Christine Stewart. And, of course, it also sells plenty of poetry books in the bookstore portion of the co-op.
Full Circle, led by Lidster, also recently started a poetry book club, which meets once a month. The club is currently reading Layli Long Soldier’s powerful Whereas.
Full Circle also has been the host of poetry classes and works with Sioux Falls’ Pride organizations to host youth poetry events.
Lidster likes the idea of making poetry available to, and accessible to, poets of all ages.
“One of the reasons we are all ages is because we want to promote youth poetry…,” he said. “I do think it’s important, not only to have something to do, but also for mental health issues. I think it can be life-saving. It grows community where there perhaps isn’t some…”
Full Circle Book Co-op is located on 10th Street in downtown Sioux Falls.