Note: Major works only.


The Red Heart. McClelland & Stewart, 1949.

A Suit of Nettles. Macmillan of Canada, 1958. New edition by Porcupine’s Quill, 2010.

Twelve Letters to a Small Town. The Ryerson Press, 1962.

The Dance of Death at London, Ontario. Alphabet Press, 1963.

Poems. Edited by Germaine Warkentin. New Press, 1972.

Selected Shorter Poems. Edited by Germaine Warkentin. Press Porcepic, 1975.

Selected Longer Poems. Edited by Germaine Warkentin. Press Porcepic, 1976.

Imprecations: The Art of Swearing. Black Moss Press, 1984.

Performance Poems. Moonstone Press, 1990.

Souwesto Home. Edited by Stan Dragland. Brick Books, 2005.

The Essential James Reaney. Edited by Brian Bartlett. Porcupine’s Quill, 2009.


(For a complete list of plays including first performances, see

The Killdeer and Other Plays. Macmillan, 1962. (includes The Killdeer, The Sun and the Moon, One-Man Masque, and Night-blooming Cereus)

Names and Nicknames (1963). Talonbooks, 1978.

Geography Match (1967). Talonbooks, 1978.

Ignoramus (1967). Talonbooks, 1978.

Colours in the Dark. Talonbooks, 1969.

Masks of Childhood. New Press, 1972. (includes The Killdeer, The Easter Egg, and Three Desks)

Listen to the Wind. (1966). Talonbooks, 1972.

Apple Butter and Other Plays for Children. Talonbooks, 1973.

Wacousta! Jubilee, 1974. Press Porcepic, 1979.

Sticks and Stones: The Donnellys, Part I. Press Porcepic, 1975.

Baldoon, with C.H. Gervais. Porcupine’s Quill, 1976.

The St. Nicholas Hotel, Wm. Donnelly, Prop: The Donnellys, Part II. Press Porcepic, 1976.

Handcuffs: The Donnellys, Part III. Press Porcepic, 1977.

The Donnellys. Press Porcepic, 1977.  (New Edition by Beach Holme Publishing, 2000.)

The Dismissal. Press Porcepic/Beach Holme Publishing, 1978.

Gyroscope. Playwrights Canada Press, 1983.

King Whistle! (1980) First published in Brick, Issue 8, Winter 1980.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking-Glass adapted for the stage. Porcupine’s Quill, 1994.

Scripts: Librettos for Operas and Other Musical Works. Edited by John Beckwith. Coach House Books, 2004.

Reaney Days in the West Room. Edited by David Ferry. Playwrights Canada Press, 2008. (Includes seven plays: The Killdeer, Names and Nicknames, Listen to the Wind, The St. Nicholas Hotel, Gyroscope, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, and Zamorna! And the House by the Churchyard)


(For a complete list of musical plays including first performances, see

(For archived sound recordings of music by John Beckwith, see the complete catalogue holdings at the Canadian Music Centre.)

The Great Lakes Suite (six poems from The Red Heart (1949) set to music by John Beckwith, 1950)

Night-blooming Cereus (1960). Music by John Beckwith.

A Message to Winnipeg (1960). Music by John Beckwith.

Twelve Letters to a Small Town (1962). Music by John Beckwith.

Wednesday’s Child (1962). Music by John Beckwith.

Canada Dash, Canada Dot (1965-1967). Music by John Beckwith.

All the Bees and All the Keys (1973). Music by John Beckwith.

The Shivaree (1982). Music by John Beckwith.

Crazy to Kill (1988). Music by John Beckwith.

Serinette (1990). Music by Harry Somers.

Taptoo! (1999). Music by John Beckwith.


The Box Social & Other Stories. Porcupine’s Quill, 1996.


The Boy with an R in His Hand. Macmillan of Canada, 1965.

Take the Big Picture. Porcupine’s Quill, 1986.


Halloween (an occasional theatre letter from James Reaney). Black Moss Press, 1976.

14 Barrels from Sea to Sea. Press Porcepic, 1977.


Alphabet: A semiannual dedicated to the Iconography of the Imagination. Edited by James Reaney. Alphabet Press, Issues 1-19, 1960-1971.