The story of the history and culture of a people is often told through regional literature. "Anthology of Western Reserve Literature", a companion volume to "Ohio's Western Reserve", presents writings associated with northeast Ohio. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ohio Historical Society through the American Association of State and Local History, this anthology broadly represents the variety of literary genre and ethnic and economic pluralism of the region over a 180-year period. The selections include works written by people who were either born or lived in the Western Reserve, whose writings reflect an interest in the region, or who portray a particular aspect of the area, such as landscape, demography, or historic events. James Garfield, William Dean Howells, Clarence Darrow, Langston Hughes, Kenneth Patchen, Sherwood Anderson, Hart Crane, Herbert Gold, d.a. levy, and Rita Dove are among those represented here. The work is organized by century to give a sense of the literature that was typical for both the region and the time.
The 19th century selections include letters, diaries and journals, poetry, and fiction, while those from the 20th century focus on memoirs and autobiographies in addition to fiction and poetry, much of which reflects the growth and dominance of Cleveland.