James Reaney, 1979. Photo credit: Les Kohalmi)
James Reaney, 1979. Photo by Les Kohalmi (Used by permission).

James Reaney, Canadian poet and playwright, was born on a farm near Stratford, Ontario, on September 1, 1926.

He grew up to become one of Canada’s best-known poets and dramatists, enjoying literary success over a period of seven decades. He was also a professor of English at the University of Manitoba (1949-1956) and the University of Western Ontario (1960-1989).

His contributions spanned literary genres, ranging from short stories, poetry, libretti, and drama, to plays and novels for children, along with insightful critical essays on literary practice.

Highly regarded at home and abroad throughout his career, James Reaney’s work was recognized with three Governor General’s awards, the Chalmers Award for drama, four honorary doctorates and the Order of Canada. He died on June 11, 2008, in London, Ontario.


Links & Resources

Canadian Encyclopedia

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia

James Reaney Fonds AFC 18 at Western University Archives

Canadian Literature

LW Connolly Theatre Archives

Stratford Festival Archives

James Reaney’s The Red Heart (1949)