Another American Childhood was conceived in January 2011 as I sat in the hospital waiting for my dad to recover from a life-threatening case of pneumonia. It was also inspired by an interest in supporting the ongoing search for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. My mom lost her twenty-year battle with MS in 1997 at the age of 44.


These poems and days would not be possible without my wife, Tina, who has suffered me with generosity and a barely concealed impatience for twenty years.

Sincerest thanks also go out to Michael Slawnik, a guitarist-chef-technologist Renaissance man whose editorial and artistic eye provided invaluable feedback to the text and photos. Michael also composed and performed the Another American Childhood soundtrack featured on all the podcasts.


This project would not have been possible without the generous collaboration of the two artists who donated their time and talent toward making it a reality.

David Limer lives and works in Michigan’s Grand Traverse area with his wife. His photos accompany the poems:

  • the rains
  • suns
  • flowers
  • the ochre chair
  • whisper, love
  • the art of palm crossing
  • carillon

The back cover photo also came from Dave’s camera. (The front cover image came, somewhat accidentally, from my own.)

Andrew Schmitt lives in Traverse City, MI, with his wife and their newborn son. His photos accompany the poems:

  • gravity
  • other than you
  • misproportioned
  • library
  • all the poems
  • from all anxiety
  • moses
  • grapeleaves
  • a tie for mass

I have the pleasure of working with Dave, Andy, and Michael on a daily basis and this project has been more enjoyable than I could have anticipated with their collaboration.

–Roger Valade
  Traverse City, MI
  August 2011

          the book >


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