Shane Koyczan

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Shane Koyczan
Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long.jpg
Shane Koyczan
Born Shane L. Koyczan
(1976-05-22) 22 May 1976 (age 40)
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
Occupation Poet and writer
Known for Spoken word poems

Shane L. Koyczan (born 22 May 1976) is a Canadian spoken word poet, writer, and member of the group Tons of Fun University. He is known for writing about issues like bullying, cancer, death, and eating disorders. He is most famous for the anti-bullying poem To This Day which has over 20 million views.[1]


Koyczan was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and he grew up in Penticton, British Columbia. In 2000, he became the first Canadian to win the Individual Championship title at the National Poetry Slam.[2] Together with American slam poet Mighty Mike McGee and fellow Canadian C. R. Avery, he is a co-founder of Vancouver, British Columbia spoken word, "talk rock" trio, Tons of Fun University (T.O.F.U.). In August 2007 Shane Koyczan and his work were the subject of an episode of the television documentary series Heart of a Poet, produced by Canadian filmmaker Maureen Judge for broadcaster Bravo!.[3]

Koyczan has published four books, poetry collection Visiting Hours, Stickboy, a novel in verse, Our Deathbeds will be Thirsty, and "A Bruise on Light" most recently in 2015. Visiting Hours was selected by both the Guardian and Globe and Mail for their 2005 Best Books of the Year lists.

Koyczan’s "We Are More" and Ivan Bielinski’s "La première fois", commissioned by the Canadian Tourism Commission, were unveiled at Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on 1 July 2007.[4] Koyczan performed a variation on his piece at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[5]

Koyczan also collaborated on Vancouver-based musician Dan Mangan's Roboteering EP on the track Tragic Turn of Events – Move Pen Move.

In 2012, Shane Koyczan released a full-length digital album entitled "Remembrance Year", which "tackles abuse with courage and displacement with inspiration",[6] in collaboration with the folk instrumentation of his band, The Short Story Long.

In February 2013 Koyczan released an animated video of his spoken word poem "To This Day" on YouTube and at the TED Conference.[7][8] The poem focused on the subject of bullying that Koyczan and others had received during their life and its lasting effects.[9] "To This Day" went viral shortly after its release,[10] with the video receiving over 20 million views as of January 2017, prompting many viewers to send Koyczan letters thanking him for publishing the poem.[11][12]


  • I'm Calling You Friend
  • Help Wanted
  • I Drew That For You
  • Visiting Hours (2005, House of Parlance Media; ISBN 978-0-9738131-0-4)
  • Stickboy ( 2008, House of Parlance Media ISBN 978-0-9738131-6-6)[13]
  • Our Deathbeds will be Thirsty (2012, House of Parlance Media)


  • Perfect
  • 2nd Time Around
  • Visiting Hours
  • American Pie Chart
  • Shut Up And Say Something

With Tons of Fun University (ToFU):

  • The Them They're Talking About (2005)
  • Hard to Tell (2009)

As Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long:

  • A Pretty Decent Cape in My Closet (2007)
    • includes "The Crickets Have Arthritis"
  • Shoulders (2014)

As Shane Koyczan and The Short Story Long:

  • "Remembrance Year" (2012)


  • The 2000 National Poetry Slam Finals (2000, The Wordsmith Press)
  • To This Day Project (2013) – spoken word poem[14][15]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Lederman, Marsha (1 August 2002). "Vancouver poets to compete at National Poetry Slam". CBC. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Heart of a Poet, Bravo!, August 2007
  4. ^ "CTC pioneers new-school tourism marketing, leads Canada Brand with new visual ID and celebrates Canada's 140th with slam poets on stage". Backbone Magazine. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Patch, Nick (13 February 2010). "Poet from Yellowknife becomes overnight sensation after Olympics monologue". Winnipeg Free Press, The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Khaikin, Lital. "Spoken Word Hits the Bedroom with Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long: 2012 Album "Remembrance Year"". Why Blue Matters. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Shane Koyczan (19 February 2013). "To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan". YouTube. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" … for the bullied and beautiful". TED. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Natalie Sequeira (22 February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's anti-bullying poem goes viral". Quill & Quire. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Dominique Mosbergen (25 February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's 'To This Day', Anti Bullying Poem, Goes Viral". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Casey Glynn (20 February 2013). "Powerful animated version of a poem about bullying". CBS News. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  12. ^ bbamsey (22 February 2013). "Bullied poet's slamming video goes viral". Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Kozlowski, Michal. "Stickboy: A Novel in Verse (review)". Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  14. ^ Koyczan, Shane (19 February 2013). "To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan". YouTube. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Koyczan, Shane. "To This Day Project". Tumblr. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 

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