Joe, R. (2011). Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi’kmaw Poet. Wreck Cove, NS: Breton Books.
Earlier editions, now out of print, were published by Ragweed Press and the University of Nebraska Press. The Breton Books edition includes a new cover, type and back cover text. Additional photos have also been added.
Song of Rita Joe is the story of Joe’s remarkable life: her education in an Indian residential school, her turbulent marriage, and the daily struggles within her family and community. It is the story of how Joe’s battles with racism, sexism, poverty, and personal demons became the catalyst for her first poems and allowed her to reclaim her aboriginal heritage. Today, her story continues: as she moves into old age, Joe writes that her lifelong spiritual quest is ever deepening.
FROM BACK COVER: "In this Canadian classic, Rita Joe leaves us her own story. Born in poverty on a reserve in Cape Breton, she survived on sheer guts and compassion.
Song of Rita Joe is a book of exceptional courage and insight, the words of a gentle woman who fought for family, justice, and her own independent voice. She faced intolerance, ignorance and abuse, searched her inheritance for strength, and wrote poems of clarity and encouragement that continue to inspire not only her people but all people.
Finally, she was a humble woman, an honoured Mi’kmaw elder, poet, and member of the Order of Canada."
Permission granted to use book cover image and back cover quote, Song of Rita Joe (2011) © Breton Books