These poems, writing by such celebrated Ohio natives as James Wright and Mary Oliver, and by accomplished if less well known poets like Ruth L. Schwartz and Rachel Langille, offer a virtual tour of people and places in the state, traveling around Ohio's lakes and rivers, farms and open country, small towns and larges cities. In resonant language and compelling imagery, in shapely verse and lines responsive to the moment's impulse, the poems bring Ohio to its citizens and, beyond the border of the state, to lovers of poetry everywhere. The perspective may be personal or historical, close-up or wide-ranging, celebratory or otherwise, but each poem becomes part of the state's legacy passed on to future generations, a collective record of how Ohio appears to itself and to others at the beginning of the 21st century.
Ohio can take pride in its rich literary heritage, both as the cradle for writers like Hart Crane and Rita Dove and as the inspiration for works like the poems in this anthology. I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio fills in the map outline of Ohio with its people and topography, in vivid colors that paint a diverse portrait of the state, and in poems strong enough that they will not fade when the celebrations end.