As a spoken word artist and author with six self-published titles, Shane shapes his words and delivers them in a multitude of mediums including music, performance, and video. He was Librettist for Vancouver Opera’s adaptation of his critically acclaimed book Stickboy and has toured North America with his band Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long.
Born and raised in northwestern Canada, Shane Koyczan was the first poet from outside the USA to win the prestigious USA National Individual Poetry Slam. He has performed to full houses around the world – from amphitheaters, respected music and literary festivals to university theatres. He has rocked the stage at the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Vancouver International Writers Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the 2007 Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa, where he opened for Fiest. His last performance, at the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies brought the 55,000-seat house to their feet with his tear-jerking homage to Canada “We Are More“.
Acclaim for Koyczan ‘s poetry and performance has come from many diverse and respected sources – from renowned rockers Gordon Downey, Joel Pott & Dave Bidini to David Robinson, Literary Editor of The Scotsman, and Patrick Neate, winner of the Whitbread Prize and host of London’s Bookslam.
Koyczan is one of the world’s premier spoken word performers. The Guardian (UK) and the Globe and Mail (Canada) newspapers hailed his book, Visiting Hours, as a ‘Books of the Year Selection’ as a result Koyczan was featured in Quill & Quire magazine in May 2006. Koyczan’s latest written acclaim is Stickboy; a novel in verse narrated by a boy,who after enduring years of bullying from his classmates, finally snaps and becomes a bully himself.
Koyczan brings enormous vitality and virtuosity to every performance. His warmth, wit and sincerity are a hit with crowds of all ages. His lyricism inspires audiences and readers alike because Shane’s poems speak directly to the heart. As David Bidini wrote in his review of Visiting Hours in the Globe and Mail’s 2005 Books of the Year edition, “…and so, a whole new generation of rhyme readers will be born.”
In 2013 he collaborated with Giant Ant Studios to create the anti-bullying animated video of his story “To This Day”, which became a viral success. Shane performed a customized version of “To This Day” titled “For the Bullied and the Beautiful” at the 2013 International TED Conference in Long Beach, California.
Shane Koyczan was the first poet from outside the USA to win the prestigious USA National Individual Poetry Slam. His performance at the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies brought the 55,000-seat house to their feet with his tear-jerking homage to Canada “We Are More”.