Jon Lipsky’s inspiring and unique career as a playwright, director, acting professor and dream researcher ended in March 2011, when he died at his West Tisbury home after a long illness. But now a handsome compendium of eight of his best plays has been published, and Mr. Lipsky’s robustly imaginative personality jumps up from these pages like a frisky friend who returns to announce, “See that! Did you really think I was gone?”

The two-volume set (almost 800 pages) has been meticulously edited by Bill Barclay and Jonah Lipsky, Jon’s son. The editors have wisely framed each play with anecdotes and introductions from collaborators of many different stages, workshops and classrooms. The result is a magnificent testament to Mr. Lipsky’s lasting contribution to drama and to his uncanny, ever-restless energy to work and re-work ideas and novel images into powerful experiences to share.

Mr. Lipsky was a writer who dug into the essence and joy of making exciting theatre, and those who worked with him, or studied under his influence, are united in their amazement at his varied, eclectic visions.

Co-editor Bill Barclay is the director of music at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. In his introduction to Mr. Lipsky’s Call of the Wild, which requires young men to perform the parts of dogs (and for which Mr. Barclay composed the music), he notes, “these moments reveal perhaps Jon’s greatest asset as a dramatist: his instinct that there was no challenge too great for an actor to surpass with heart-stopping surprise. Call of the Wild will always remain a mysterious and uncompromising landscape awaiting such raw, simple and wild amazement.”

My personal favorite is Dreaming With an AIDS Patient, a brief but riveting pastiche of dream images as recalled in a dream notebook by a patient who, as he was dying, worked with Robert Bosnak, a Jungian dream analyst. Mr. Lipsky harvested these compelling dreams as raw material for drama — psychic data, so to speak. Artfully sequenced and depicted on the stage by only three actors, the brief play takes an audience to a truly sacred place of a real, heroically dying man. Dr. Bosnak says in his introduction, the dreams were explored “in a creation outside of time, which simultaneously felt utterly contemporary.”

The critic Arthur Friedman wrote in the Boston Herald, “Dreaming with an AIDS Patient has a riddling power, alternately nightmarish, amusing and tantalizing.”

Perhaps Mr. Lipsky’s most magical piece is his collaboration with jazz virtuoso Stan Strickland in Coming Up for Air, called an AutoJAZZography. Those who have experienced the astonishingly graceful Mr. Strickland on the stage as he dances through a variety of haunting characters with an orchestra-full of instruments in a tour-de-force about a Hawaiian near-death experience, might be intrigued to see the script on the page. It’s a conjurer’s handbook. With these words Mr. Lipsky teased out of a genius musician a turbulent story that is personal and wonderful and universal, all of it phrased into a giant dramatic and musical dream. Mr. Lipsky had the skill to mine and refine drama wherever he could find it and then bring it to the audience — sometimes blunt, sometimes sweet, sometimes dark and bitter, but always indelible in the memory.

As Mr. Lipsky’s friend and collaborator Arnie Reisman notes: “He was a master of characterization. He reduced people to their essence, usually of goodness, even if it were goodness denied or suppressed. Once he was able to do that, situational absurdity or acting logically in the face of illogic, took over.”

Congratulations to the editors and to the collaborators and to the Lipsky family and friends and fans. And to Jon Lipsky himself. These eight plays — and the many appreciations included — are rich in imaginative nourishment, full of that stinging stimulant personality, to whom we say, “No, Jon. We didn’t think you were gone. We knew you would always be with us.”

There will be a book release party, including readings from several of the plays, on Sunday, August 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.