“We Are More.” With that, Shane Koyczan launched into a lush and inclusive poem about his native Canada during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The 43-year-old native of Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories also put himself front and center as the poet of his generation, “and,” notes one critic, “we weren’t even looking for one.” Koyczan has taken audiences through the stories and long-lasting impacts of bullying with the poem “To This Day.” The poem was released as an animated film on YouTube in February 2013. It became an instant sensation and currently has more than 24 million views. Koyczan navigates social and political territory with fierce honesty and tender humanity. He has performed in front of audiences in New York, London, Stockholm and Los Angeles, to name a few. Now the poet, spoken word virtuoso and graphic novelist (Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To) visits Eugene with his rhythmic verses.
Shane Koyczan performs at the Hult Center, 8 pm Friday, Jan. 31. Tickets at $25 to $39.75.