The Scotsman – 5 Stars
“Conceptual fun and games are all very well, but they’re no substitute for mastery of the music of language, and in this Canadian performance poet Shane Koyczan is in a class of his own. Most of the poems in his show, Talk Rocker, deal with his troubled childhood. “It wasn’t a very good one,” he deadpans – a colossal understatement, as it turns out – but from all the years of bullying, loneliness and worse, Koyczan has forged some of blisteringly good poems.
They’re often deeply sad, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, but always, in the end, profoundly uplifting. They sound beautiful, too, ebbing and flowing like little symphonies. Even if you didn’t understand a single word of English, you’d still find Koyczan a pleasure to listen to.”
Read the full review – Spoken Word Reviews
Broadway Baby – 4 Stars
“After just a couple of pieces I was totally gripped. Koyczan is an enthralling performer, and seems to pour a huge quantity of emotional energy into every reading. His poems are mostly untitled, and each piece’s preamble runs very naturally into the poem proper, giving the hour a slick, well-rehearsed feel that keeps things ticking along…
If criticism could be levelled at Koyczan, it’s that his work is occasionally cloying, or overly optimistic, but this is part and parcel with the sheer emotional force at play in the work. If you’re a fan of spoken word or slam poetry, this is an excellent example of the medium. If not, this is a pretty intense place to start, but there’s a convincing argument to be made for jumping in at the deep end.”
Read the review here – More Than Just Talk