Meeting the spoken word sensei – Shane Koyczan!

Dear World,

Sorry I have not written to you for so long.

A deadly combination of final exams, work and those little pepperoni and cheese packets you buy in the gas station (they don’t taste great after the third packet) has left me feeling pretty stretched out these past few weeks.

But now, finally, I can tell you about something really amazing that has happened to me recently: I had the opportunity to meet one of my heroes, Shane Koyczan, and watch him in action!

Now, if you are not (1) involved in the slam poetry community or (2) haven’t seen a slam poem performance, you likely don’t know who the heck I’m talking about, so let me show you:

This is him – the marvelous literary crusader himself!


aaand here’s the picture I got with him after the show – I’m the one on the right who managed to look like a comic book arch-villain, while the slightly less bearded version of me on the left is my younger brother, Jake.

As for Shane? He’s that middle guy that lit up the centre stage shortly before the photo was taken.

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If you want a scope of how popular he is, he performed at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and has had his own Ted Talk. He has many viral poems, all of which are one YouTube search away from being embedded in your memory.

So, why-oh-why have I decided to push this performer’s name into your lives?

Simple. I believe that everyone has something to gain from hearing his work.

Being a bit of a spoken word enthusiast myself, I am biased, but I believe that there are few things more powerful than a person with a voice – and when that voice can illustrate stories and emotion as well as this man does, there’s no telling what can happen.

There’s really no other way to describe it, so rather than taking my word for it, I’ll make a deal with you, okay? Here’s what you gotta do:

1. If by chance you are having a bad day, play the video below.

2. If you like what you hear, go listen to any one of Shane Koyczan’s other poems on YouTube, or buy one on iTunes.

3. If his poem doesn’t make you cry, laugh, contemplate life as you know it, or any combination of the three, I won’t eat a pizza bagel for like, two days. Promise.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be sure to post more regularly now that my daily schedule does not revolve around the library’s closing hours.

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