Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long
In 2012, Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long appeared in
In a world where poets rarely intersect with stardom, we have found the poet of our generation. Powerfully engaging and authentic, Shane Koyczan’s explorations are relevant to our times in the way that Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Downie and Leonard Cohen are to theirs. His published collection, Visiting Hours, is on its way to becoming a classic, and his novel, Stickboy, is hailed for its deft handling of the subject of bullying. Shane breathes life into the new genre of talk rock with his band the Short Story Long. With their folk to funk, ambient to rock stylings, the band paints a rich patina for Koyczan’s verse.
ARTIST WEBSITE: www.shanekoyczan.com
In a world where poets rarely intersect with stardom, the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics introduced us to Shane Koyczan. With a collective “wow” across Canada, we found the poet of our generation. And we weren’t even looking for one. Powerfully engaging and authentic in attitude, his explorations are relevant to our times in the way that Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Downie and Leonard Cohen are to theirs. But unlike the musicians that he’s often compared to, poets rarely infiltrate pop culture. Koyzcan emerges in a new wave of 21st century poetry that dares to belong to the people and speak directly to them in their own voice.
Shane Koyczan is both a writer and spoken word virtuoso. His first published collection, Visiting Hours, was the only work of poetry selected by both the Guardian and the Globe and Mail for their Best Books of the Year lists in 2005. Destined to become a future classic, Visiting Hours is now in its third edition, and includes We Are More, the powerful and moving poem that defines a nation often too humble to define itself, originally commissioned by the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Koyczan followed up on the success of Visiting Hours with Stickboy, a novel in verse that chronicles the dark and lonely journey of a bullied child gripped by helpless rage. Koyczan shines a light into the bleak world behind some of the most incomprehensible acts in our culture, and also shows the healing power of love. Written for anyone who has ever been a child, Stickboy continues to be hailed by teachers, academics, and mental health experts alike for its deft handling of the subject of bullying.
Shane also breathes life into the new genre of talk rock with his band the Short Story Long. A trio (Olivia Mennell, Maiya Robbie, and Stefan Bienz) whose musical range stretches from folk to funk, from ambient to rock, showcasing all of the beautiful in between, have along with Koyczan created a whole new style of song/verse. Winning “Best New Artist” at the BC Interior Music Awards in 2009, receiving standing ovations at festivals across Canada, and selling out theatres and café’s alike, the band is turning heads on the Canadian independent music scene. With a number of high profile summer festivals dates already confirmed for 2010 for Short Story Long and a recent recorded collaboration between Shane and XM Verge Artist Of The Year and 2 Time CBC Radio 3 Award Winner Dan Mangan, Koyczan is establishing himself in yet another unique way.
Shane Koyczan however, is best known for his award winning spoken word performances. With his rhythmic verse in high gear, he navigates his audience through social and political territory with a furious honesty and a tender humanity that has brought audiences to their feet in New York, London, Edinburgh, Sydney and Los Angeles. Winner of the US Slam Poetry Championship and the Canadian Spoken Word Olympics, Koyczan is truly an extraordinary talent that has blown the dust off of the designation “poet”.