Shane Koyczan

There are people who have baby-wise eyes. They encounter the world with novel vision, but then interpret these experiences as an old soul. Shane Koyczan has baby-wise eyes. He’s a Canadian spoken-word artist, combining poetry and performance on a range of worthwhile topics.

I first saw Shane perform in Windsor, at an event for Mental Health Awareness Week. He performed, To This Day, his most popular poem and one that explores the profound impact of bullying. I had never heard a spoken-word artist and he was both eloquent and moving. I recently saw him again, this time while touring Canada with David Suzuki’s Blue Dot Tour. A woman I was watching with cried as he delivered Shoulders, his newest work comparing humanity to mythology’s Atlas:

“The most alarming part of the statement ‘We are facing crisis’

Isn’t the word ‘crisis’,

It’s the word ‘we’.

Because those two letters take the responsibility away from one and

rest it squarely on the shoulders of everybody.

We are Atlas now.”

His topics are important, but not trendy; clear but not cliché. He’s inspiring to us because he’s Shane. He shares his voice, and in it, we hear echoes of our own.



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