My band -- The Rheostatics-- toured BC this past October. Months before, I was driving the Crown Vic through the stupid rain when I heard a poem on Nora Young s radio show, The Future: a weird love poem to Britney spears incanted by a writer identified as Shane Corson. Having clearly underestimated the extended talents of the scrappy ex-Maple Leaf winger, I googled his published work, only to discover that Nora had said Koyczan, not Corson (the Shane (sic) part I got right). I corresponded with Koyczan, and then, in the fall, he opened our Western shows. A big Kelvinator of a man who loves women and free food, Shane swallowed the stage with the power of his verse, stepping from subdued deep hot sad love poetry to hip-hop power chord meta-meter, throttling the crowd with the weight of his rhymes, and effectively wiping the stage with us. While on tour we received copies of his first book, Visiting Hours...which is all that Shane is live, as fast and cool, and now as thrillingly rich and moving. And so, a whole new generation of rhyme readers will be born. --David Bidini in the Globe and Mail, December 31, 2005.
I found Visiting Hours in a lovely little bookstore in Toronto. I picked it up and straight away was hooked. He has the ability to take you straight into the heart of what on the surface may seem like mundane actions but which turn out to be much more complex. He makes you feel the depth of love, joy and pain in everyday life. Love, after all, is in everything. --Joel Pott, The Guardian
There'll be comparisons aplenty - Gary Snyder, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Paul Durcan, John Cooper Clarke - but Koyczan is staking out his own literary acreage. Koyczan employs a mysterious light touch to rip open your ribcage. Allow it. --Colum McCann, author of Dancer, This Side of Brightness, and his latest, Zoli
About the Author
Shane Koyczan is one of the world s premier spoken word artists. Born in Yellowknife, Koyczan spent much of his youth in Penticton, BC, where he attended Okanagan University College before moving to Vancouver. Shane beginnings in slam poetry came out of pure necessity. He was wondering how he was going to pay a phone bill when he saw a poster on a streetlamp in Vancouver offering prize money for a poetry slam. Shane entered that slam and won the event. He paid that bill and enjoyed the experienced so much that he went on to win the 2000 US National Independent Poetry Slam in Rhode Isalnd. Shane captained the Vancouver team that won the Canadian nationals 2004. Shane is the first poet from outside the USA to win the prestigious US National Independent Poetry Slam. His 2005 book of poems, Visiting Hours, was hailed as a Book of the Year Selection by The Guardian (UK) and the Globe and Mail (Canada). Shane has performed to full houses around the world. He s rocked the stage at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Calgary s WordFest and lit up the Vancouver International Writers Festival twice. Shane toured New Zealand and Australia in the Spring of 2007 where he performed to standing ovations and sold out bookstores. He s toured Canada and USA extensively.