Dal Reads

title announcement 2019 20

Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaw Poet

2019/20 Program

Title selection for Dal Reads 2019/20

Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaw Poet, Rita Joe

Free copies of this book are available at all the Dal Libraries. 

If you're interested in a class set, contact marlo.mackay@dal.ca

About the book:

Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaq Poet is a book of courage and insight. Rita Joe faced intolerance, ignorance, and abuse but she wrote poetry to inspire her people. Her poetry continues to inspire. 

"The brave part is in taking on history and leaving your own story." --Rita Joe

Stay Tuned for 2019/20 Events 



Dal Reads is designed to encourage people in the Dalhousie community to share their love of books. Launched in 2009, the program brings the Dalhousie community together through the shared experience of reading the same book and taking part in programming related to the book.

Programming may include author readings, book club-type discussions, film viewings, and other events and opportunities to celebrate a shared love of reading. In addition, Faculty members may choose to include the Dal Reads book in their course curriculum.

In 2015, the Dal Reads Steering Committee decided to focus on first-year undergraduate students. By selecting this group of students, Dal Reads aims to provide a common intellectual experience that will serve as both an introduction to Dalhousie University and to post-secondary academic life in general. We hope that this format will encourage lots of discussion and the development of exciting new and innovative programming.

Faculty interested in using Song of Rita Joe as part of a course or program can request copies of the book from marlo.mackay@dal.ca

Selection Criteria

A Dal Reads book:

  • must be able to generate discussion and exchange of ideas
  • must be appealing to a broad range of readers of varying ages, literacy levels, and life experience
  • must be in print and available for purchase in paperback
  • must be strongly written with elements that will generate excitement among readers.



Dal Reads aims to:

  • provide first-year students with a common intellectual experience that will serve as an introduction to both Dalhousie University and post-secondary academic life in general
  • encourage reading for pleasure
  • provide an opportunity for connection (students, faculty, staff, undergrads, grads, regardless of area of study)
  • provide a unique social activity
  • draw on the social elements of reading
  • provide an opportunity for the Dalhousie Libraries to promote the collection in a new way
  • connect with the curriculum and other university activities and interests

We look forward to seeing you around campus this fall with your copy of the Dal Reads selected book for 2019!

Dal Reads Titles 2009–2019

2009–2011 The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill
2012 Twenty-Six, Leo McKay Jr. (partnership with One Book Nova Scotia)
2013 Fauna, Alissa York (partnership with One Book Nova Scotia)
2014 Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
2015 A Year of Living Generously, Lawrence Scanlan
2016 The Hermit of Africville, Jon Tattrie
2017 We Were Not the Savages, Daniel Paul
2018 Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson
2019 Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaw Poet, Rita Joe 

Steering Committee

Donna Bourne-Tyson 

University Librarian

Sarah Davis 

Access Services/Digital Initiatives, Dalhousie Libraries

Patti Doyle-Bedwell

Faculty, College of Continuing Education
Margot Latimer Faculty, School of Nursing, Senate representative

Marlo MacKay (chair)

Communications Coordinator, Dalhousie Libraries

Shelley McKibbon 

Health Sciences Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

Lindsay McNiff

Learning & Instruction Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

Aaron Prosper Past President of Dalhousie Student Union
Brandon Randall Residence Life
Jolene Reid Document Delivery/Government Documents, Dalhousie Libraries
Isaac Saney Director of the Transition Year Program (TYP)

Karen Smith

Special Collections Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries

Hannah Steeves Law Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries
Art Stevens Aboriginal Student Advisor