Q and A with slam poet Koyczan

Shane Koyczan’s schedule has been busy, since his video exploring the lasting impact bullying can have on an individual went viral this week.

As well as dealing with media interviews, there has been a huge response from fans on the Internet. There have been thousands of views of the To This Day project on You Tube and endless praise given on Facebook and Twitter.

Castanet caught up with the Penticton slam poet for a quick q and a before he catches a flight to Los Angeles today, (Saturday). 

Q: When and why did you write To This Day, the spoken word poem, the project is based on?:

A: It was two or three years ago. It was a piece I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. For me as a writer, I really need to get everything out, to make room for more.

Q: Why did you put out the call to animators and motion artists to contribute 20 second segments to the project?

A: It’s hard to get any funding for poets. I wanted to put out a video that showed multiple voices. No one got paid for it. It was a total volunteer effort.

Q: What was the response to your call out for animators?:

A: There were more than 400 submissions, and I had to narrow that down and make some really hard choices. All of these animators are strangers, I don’t know any of them. Their work can be seen on vimeo.com on Two This Day plus. And Giant Ant, the video storytelling production crew I worked with in Vancouver, were amazing.

Q: How do you feel about the project going viral. It has received thousands of views on You Tube?

A: This project is not for me. I did not do it for my gratification. I put it out there for people who have been bullied and feel afraid and alone, just to start a conversation. It is important to give them a jumping off point. As for the media response, it has been nonstop. My first interview today, (Friday), was at 3:45 a.m.

Q: So after this what’s next?

A: I am going to Los Angeles for a major TED stop. (TED is a nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading).

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