James Reaney (1926-2008) was a Canadian poet, playwright, and literary critic. He was born in Easthope, Ontario, and spent most of his life in southwestern Ontario. Reaney is associated with the literary movement known as the “London Group,” which included other Canadian writers such as Alice Munro and Colleen Thibaudeau. He is known for his distinct poetic style, incorporating elements of myth, folklore, and regionalism.

Reaney’s works often explore themes of rural life, history, and the human condition. His poetry collection “The Red Heart” (1949) established him as a prominent Canadian poet. He also gained recognition for his plays, including “The Killdeer” (1960) and “Sticks and Stones” (1973), which showcase his talent for blending poetic language with dramatic storytelling. Reaney’s writing often reflects his deep connection to his rural roots and his interest in Canadian history.

In addition to his literary works, Reaney was a respected literary critic and educator. He taught English and Drama at the University of Western Ontario for many years, influencing numerous aspiring writers and scholars. James Reaney’s contributions to Canadian literature have earned him several prestigious awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Order of Canada. His works continue to be celebrated for their lyrical beauty and profound exploration of the Canadian identity.

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