Shane Koyczan

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Shane Koyczan
Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long.jpg
Shane Koyczan
Shane L. Koyczan

(1976-05-22) 22 May 1976 (age 44)
OccupationPoet and writer
Known forSpoken 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 24 million views on YouTube.


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 beach National Poetry Slam.[1] 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!.[2]

Koyczan has published several books, including poetry collection Visiting Hours, Stickboy, a novel in verse, Our Deathbeds will be Thirsty, To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful and A Bruise on Light. 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.[3] Koyczan performed a variation on his piece at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[4]

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",[5] 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.[6][7] The poem focused on the subject of bullying that Koyczan and others had received during their life and its lasting effects.[8] "To This Day" went viral shortly after its release,[9] 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.[10][11]

He has described himself as an 'okay atheist'.[12]


  • I'm Calling You Friend
  • Help Wanted
  • I Drew That For You
  • Visiting Hours (2005, Mother Press 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)
  • To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful (2014, Annick Press, ISBN 9781554516391)
  • A Bruise on Light (2014, Stickboy Press, ISBN 9780991971831)
  • The Basement In My Attic (2019, Stickboy Press)


  • Perfect (2000)[14]
  • 2nd Time Around
  • Visiting Hours
  • American Pie Chart (2004)[15]
  • The Them They're Talking About (2005) - With Tons of Fun University
  • A Pretty Decent Cape in My Closet (2008) - With The Short Story Long[16]
    • includes "The Crickets Have Arthritis"
  • Hard to Tell (2009) - With Tons of Fun University
  • Shut Up And Say Something (2009)[17]
  • Remembrance Year (2011) - With The Short Story Long[18]
  • Silence is a Song I Know All the Words To (2014)[19]
  • Debris (2015) - With The Short Story Long[20]



  1. ^ Lederman, Marsha (1 August 2002). "Vancouver poets to compete at National Poetry Slam". CBC. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  2. ^ Heart of a Poet Archived 2 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Bravo!, August 2007
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ 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 16 February 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Shane Koyczan (19 February 2013). "To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan". YouTube. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" … for the bullied and beautiful". TED. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  8. ^ Natalie Sequeira (22 February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's anti-bullying poem goes viral". Quill & Quire. Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  9. ^ Dominique Mosbergen (25 February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's 'To This Day', Anti Bullying Poem, Goes Viral". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  10. ^ Casey Glynn (20 February 2013). "Powerful animated version of a poem about bullying". CBS News. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  11. ^ bbamsey (22 February 2013). "Bullied poet's slamming video goes viral". Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  12. ^ Shane Koyczan (8 December 2014), Shane Koyczan 'Heaven, or Whatever', retrieved 30 June 2017
  13. ^ Kozlowski, Michal. "Stickboy: A Novel in Verse (review)". Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  14. ^ "Shane L. Koyczan* - Perfect". Discogs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Release "American Pie Chart" by Shane Koyczan - MusicBrainz". Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Shane Koyczan & The Short Story Long - ...A Pretty Decent Cape In My Closet". Discogs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  17. ^ Shut Up and Say Something by Shane Koyczan, retrieved 8 December 2019
  18. ^ "Shane Koyczan & The Short Story Long - Remembrance Year". Discogs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Shane Koyczan announces Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To". Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Shane Koyczan & The Short Story Long - Debris". Discogs. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  21. ^ Koyczan, Shane (19 February 2013). "To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan". YouTube. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  22. ^ Koyczan, Shane. "To This Day Project". Tumblr. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  23. ^ "Filmmaker Q&A: Shut Up and Say Something Director Melanie Wood". Calgary International Film Festival. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  24. ^ Clare Hennig (1 October 2017). "Shane Koyczan reunites with estranged father in VIFF documentary". CBC News. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Indian Horse Wins Coveted VIFF Super Channel People's Choice Award" (Press release). Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.

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