Celebrate the spoken word: Send us poems

The Daily Townsman/Daily Bulletin is having a poetry contest, with a chance to win Shane Koyczan tickets

Shane Koyczan

Shane Koyczan

Readers take note! To celebrate the upcoming performance of spoken word artist, poet and writer Shane Koyczan in Cranbrook, the Daily Townsman/Daily Bulletin is hosting a poetry contest.

Koyczan is bringing is “Silence is a Song I Know All The Words To” tour to the Key City Theatre on March 30, and to celebrate this high profile poetic interlude, we want to bring out the Cranbrook muse. So sharpen those quill pens, Cranbrook, ands send us your verse.

The poems themselves can be in any style, but wait — they must be written with performance in mind, and the performance or recitation of a poem must take no more than 60 seconds.

Submissions will be accepted, by email, fax or handed-in hard-copies. You may enter up to three poems. The poems will be judged here at the Townsman by numerous judges and lovers of poetry, and the five favourites will be chosen to make a short list. The five finalist poets will then be recorded reciting their poems for videos, to be posted on our website. If you as the poet are uncomfortable being filmed “slamming” your poem, an actor will do it for you. The public will then be invited to vote for the winning poem. The winner will receive two tickets for what bodes to be a mind-blowing Shane Koyczan concert.

Like Van Morrison said, “Poetic Champions, Compose!” Read your poem out loud at regular speed to make sure it’s 60 seconds or less and then send it to barry@dailytownsman.com, or drop them off at 822 Cranbrook Street North, V1C 3R9.

Deadline for entries is March 6, 2015. Videos of the five finalists will go up online March 13, and the public will vote for the favourite over the following week. Instructions on how to vote online will be made clear at that time. The winner will be contacted March 23.

For examples of poets reciting their own work, check out the excellent PBS series “The United States of Poetry” (vimeo.com/107367741) or check out the Man himself at www.shanekoyczan.com.

“Silence is a Song I Know all the Words to” is another chapter in the continuing story of Shane Koyczan. His CD of the same name is now available with the companion piece graphic novel. The album track “Troll” is accompanied by a video that features the artwork of Gareth Gaudin who also illustrated the graphic novel. “Troll” is dedicated to all of those who have lost friends or family through online abuse. The subject of bullying is an issue Koyczan addresses, and he has gained acclaim across Canada for his work for his work in this regard.

Koyczan’s much lauded novel, Stickboy was recently the subject of both an art exhibit and an opera, which featured Koyczan himself as librettist.