James Reaney was born in 1926 near Stratford, Ontario. Reaney taught at the University of Manitoba and the University of Western Ontario for a total of forty years. He received his doctorate with Northrop Frye. Talonbooks published his plays Colours in the Dark (1969) and Listen to the Wind (1972). In 1975, The St. Nicholas Hotel: the Donnellys Part II won a Chalmers Award. Reaney received the Order of Canada in 1976. Reaney was married to poet Collen Thibaudeau, and had two children. He passed away in June 2008.