Koyczan returns to Vernon with The Short Story Long

Spoken word, slam poet champion Shane Koyczan visits Vernon in April on release of his new album with band The Short Story Long.

Shane Koyczan may have been introduced to the world during the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics when he espoused We Are More, but for local fans, he’s that talented writer who once studied at Okanagan (University) College and eventually found his voice.

Now a world renowned slam poet and spoken word artist, who is based in Penticton, Koyczan returns to Vernon April 17 on the release of his new album, Remembrance Year, with his band The Short Story Long.

On his latest musical effort, Koyczan  brings awareness to the genre of talk rock. Exploring the musical background of the band, which is influenced by folk, funk and rock, the album takes on a variety of genres and themes accompanied by Koyczan’s warm and witty lyricism.

“Making Remembrance Year was easily the best, hardest, loveliest, flabbergastingly joyful and preposterously heart rending experiences I’ve ever been a part of,” said Koyczan. “I don’t think I could make it again if I tried, but of course I’d try.”

In addition to his music, Koyczan will also release his third book, Our Deathbeds Will Be Thirsty (McKellar & Martin Publishing Group, Limited) on April 18.

Considered to be his most mature yet playful collection of poetry to date, Koyczan describes “Deathbeds as a book with sharp and sudden turns.”

His first collection, Visiting Hours, published in 2005, gained outstanding praise from The Guardian (U.K.) and The Globe and Mail in their Best Books of the Year lists. Visiting Hours is now in its third edition, and includes We Are More, originally commissioned by the Canadian Tourism Commission and performed by Koyczan at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

His second novel, Stickboy, chronicles the dark and lonely journey of a bullied child gripped by helpless rage.  The novel has been a staple for teachers, academics, and mental health experts alike for its deft handling of the subject of bullying.

Special guest duo Mikkal Waters and Charles Reuchelle will open for Koyczan and The Short Story Long’s performance at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, April 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25/adult, $20/student, $5 EyeGo (in person only) at the Ticket Seller, 549-7469, www.ticktseller.ca.