The Next Chapter

Randy Lundy searches for truth amid solitude with the poetic Blackbird Song

The Saskatchewan poet and author discusses exploring emotional and mental wellness with his third poetry collection.
Blackbird Song is Randy Lundy's third collection of poetry. (University of Regina Press)

Randy Lundy is a Saskatchewan-based short story writer, poet and member of the Barren Lands (Cree) First Nation. Lundy has three poetry collections, 1999's Under the Night Sun, 2004's Gift of the Hawk and 2018's Blackbird Song, which delves into his Indigenous heritage and his kinship with the land. 

Saskatchewan living

"I grew up in a small logging community called Hudson Bay in Saskatchewan. People often confuse it with the body of water, but it's just a small logging town sort on the edge of the boreal forest in northeastern Saskatchewan. It was very isolated. My father his entire life worked in mining and lumber industries. They were working people and a beautiful landscape.

"It was a very isolated, yet beautiful landscape. It made you appreciate the landscape when you were alone. I still miss it. We often talk about the places we live in the landscapes in which we live — and we don't often enough think about the ways in which those landscapes live inside of us as well. The landscape is in many ways still my spiritual home; it's carried around inside me all the time everywhere I go."

The beautiful struggle

"I've had my own struggles. I've struggled with anxiety, depression, mental health issues and addictions that often go with those things. The only way to address those kinds of things is to deal with the things you need to deal with. And for me, writing is one way of doing that.

"I don't like to think of writing as a kind of metaphor for for healing or therapy. It's not therapy for me. It doesn't serve that function for me in that sort of direct linear kind of way. I turned 50 last year and it's important for me to know who I am and where I came from and acknowledge all of all of it both the pain and the joy."

Randy Lundy's comments have been edited for length and clarity. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now