LitStack Rec: ‘Chicago’ and ‘To This Day’

by Lauren Alwan
To This Dayto this day
and many others
Shane Koyczan

April is National Poetry Month, and I’d like to do something a little different. Rather than recommend a book, or a literary work, I’m going to recommend a poet. A fantastic poet. A poet who blows me away, makes me melt, touches me and speaks right to the deepest – and broadest – parts of my heart. A lot of what he does is spoken word art, but he does have a couple of books, so I guess this can still kinda sorta be a book recommendation, because I honestly would recommend anything this guy does.

Some of you might know him from a YouTube video that went viral a while back, entitled “To This Day”, which is about rising above being bullied. Shane is the one who wrote it, and who speaks it on the video. He has other videos that are just as moving; you can check out quite a few of them if you go to his website:

If you sign up for his newsletter, you’ll get a poem in your inbox every month. That is a true gift. This is a bit from a poem he sent out in February, entitled “You”ll Live”:

and I am astonished still at how easily
we will cast stones
at how easily the world condones outrage over understanding
handing out compassion
like halloween candy
as long as the monsters keep a safe distance

And these poems are even more powerful when he reads them. “Remember How We Forgot.” “To This Day.” “Turn on a Light.”

This may sound like a promo rather than a recommendation. If it is, I don’t apologize. Shane Koyczan is good; he’ll make you think, he’ll make you feel. And I can’t wish anything better on you than that.

-Sharon Browning

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