Editor’s note: Joe Blades was a Fredericton-based poet, publisher and labour activist who passed away on April 22, 2020. Joe was a friend of the NB Media Co-op and someone other poets, artists and workers in Fredericton and beyond could count on to show up in times of celebration and in times of struggle. When someone was treated unfairly, Joe was there. He organized workers on campus and he brought art to rallies for justice like when Canada was detaining Muslim men without charge. Joe and his publishing company, Broken Jaw Press, joined the Fredericton Peace Coalition to organize the Fredericton visit of poet Andrea Gibson, also a fundraiser for the Revolutionary Women of Afghanistan. He especially liked Andrea’s poem, Photograph. The poem ends with a wish that many of us have for who the NB Film Co-op’s Cat LeBlanc liked to call, Jumpin’ Joe Blades:
I wish you’d never left
but mostly I wish you well
I wish you my very very best
Joe’s journals and papers have been donated by his family to Special Collections at the Harriet Irving Library at the University of New Brunswick.
Read Tony Tremblay’s Understanding the Legacy of Joe Blades in the COVID-19 Era.