Penticton poet Shane Koyczan.

B.C. poet Shane Koyczan responds to fatal mass shooting in South Okanagan city

Spoken-word artist and poet Shane Koyczan shares his thoughts on a dark day

Penticton poet, and one of the greatest spoken-word artists in Canadian history, Shane Koyczan shared his thoughts about the shooting that occurred on Monday where four people were killed.

READ MORE: Four dead, one in custody following Penticton shooting spree

Koyczan wrote:

The town I live in is small. Maybe 34,000 people? It’s not tiny, but because it sits between two big lakes there’s no room for it to grow any bigger. I’m okay with that. I like to live in a small place. I can ride my bike from one end of town to the other in 20 minutes. I can walk the street at night without my mind racing to collide with fear. Small places often feel removed from the rest of the issues that plague the world. We busy ourselves with yard work and watch the news thinking that the worst of it “could never happen here”.

Today 4 people were killed by a shooter in our small town. A place where violence like that could never happen. We were told to stay in our homes while streets were closed off and locked down. We waited for updates while we could still hear the helicopter circling overhead.

Everywhere

It used to be that our nightmares held no territory in the waking world

the monster of homelessness and the hellions of addiction were problems better left for elsewhere

violence was a sharp and broken stick not long enough to reach us here in our tucked away corner of the globe

it used to be that when our horrors

did somehow spill out over the threshold of sleep

it was only into the places

that were far away

places we could pray for

and think about from a safe distance

places that were “not here”

but what used to be is no longer

and what’s left is all that is

today

here is there

the place we thought we would never live.

Koyczan attended Okanagan College’s Penticton campus in 1998, where he took courses in the Associate of Arts degree program and excelled in creative writing. He received a major honour with the Young Alumni award from Okanagan College in 2011.

READ MORE: B.C. poet Koyczan pens poem for Humboldt

He gained worldwide attention performing at the opening of the Vancouver Olympics, has toured the world and influenced many with his anti-bullying video To This Day.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gathering in Salmon Arm to offer support, resources after shooting

Agencies join to provide practical assistance from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 at rec centre

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

Have your say on proposed ban of single use plastic bags

Salmon Arm to hold public information session on bylaw this Tuesday, April 23

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read