#949 Shane Koyczan, the people’s poet

Shane Koyczan

Shane Koyczan at TEDxYouth@San Diego; via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s a good thing I was not drinking coffee when I listened to Shane Koyczan’s TED talk, “Blueprint for a Breakthrough.” I would have shorted out my keyboard when he came to this line, early in the talk:

I’ve been scarfing down enough food for thought that I’ve got bowels so backed up with brilliant ideas eventually I’m gonna shit books.

If your mind does not conjure up an image when you hear Koyczan’s name, think back to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. At the opening ceremony, he delivered a poem about Canada that made hearts in the home country beat with pride at his way of characterizing a diverse nation. [You can relive the whole stunning opening here or go straight to Koyczan’s, “We Are More” at 2:15:50]

And if you cannot imagine ever being seduced by poetry, consider this. When Koyczan decided to self-publish his third book of poetry, A Bruise on Light, he launched a campaign on Kickstarter. In two days he more than doubled his goal.

If you still need persuading, watch his animated poem, “To This Day”. It will make you cry, and it will make your heart split wide open with the pain of the bullied…or with your own pain if you know the old saying is wrong and that words can break you far more cruelly than sticks and stones.

Shane Koycan is the people’s poet. People love his words so much they tattoo them on their arms. They love his poems because he pours soothing balm on every hurt of the human soul. They subscribe to his monthly poem and buy his books and sometimes feel understood for the first time because of him.

So dive in. Watch the videos on his site. If he performs in your town, be there. He will make you laugh and weep and stand taller. He will give you hope.

You can follow Shane Koyczan on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

You can buy Shane Koyczan’s poetry on iTunes . Visiting Hours is available on iBooks, as a combination of text and spoken word. It is also available on Kobo and Kindle, as text only.

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