The origin of This Place I Know: Poems of ComfortThis Place I Know: Poems of Comfort resulted from the tragedy of September 11, 2001, but the poems in it provide comfort to anyone affected by the fear and grief that comes with a major tragedy. The poems were selected by author and teacher Georgia Heard, who said, "I tried to choose poems that touch upon our feelings of fear and loss, remind us that we are not alone in despair, and assure us that dreams can be born even from tragedy." Heard first began gathering poems when the superintendent of district 2 in Manhatten asked Heard to find "poems of comfort" that could be read to the New York City schoolchildren who had experienced the September 11th tragedy.
The Poets and IllustratorsThe book features double page spreads, with a single poem on one page and an accompanying illustration on the facing page. Heard showed great sensitivity in her selection of poetry. She included poems by Wendell Berry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Emily Dickinson, Lillian Morrison, among others.
Eighteen different illustrators of children's books provided the artwork, including Kevin Hawkes, Elisa Kleven, Jill McElmurry, Peter Sis, William Steig, Chris Raschka and Melissa Sweet. The artwork, for the most part, complements the written words, and in many cases, brings added depth to the poetry.