September 23, 2014

To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful

by Shane Koyczan
Annick Press
72 pp.
Ages 9+
For release September 2014

When Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan wrote and performed his poem To This Day, about his experiences and those of others being bullied when younger, he probably could not have foreseen the truly amazing global impact that it would have. But global it did become when his performance of the poem was animated in a video posted to his YouTube channel as part of the To This Day Project in February 2013.  Over 14 million views later, To This Day continues to send an important message of anti-bullying.

This month, Annick Press releases a static version of Shane Koyczan's poem with double-page spread illustrations by thirty international artists, over half Canadian. In a variety of media and styles, artists interpreted the words from the poem To This Day, providing graphic substance to a poem as real and tangible as it could get.

For anyone who has experienced bullying, as a victim, an instigator, or an observer (and sadly, that probably means everyone), To This Day will resonate loudly with the tales of Shane Koyczan's experiences with bullying, as well as those of other children. From French artist Barroux's powerful image of hands flinging blackened speech bubbles at a boy attempting to protect his face, ears, and eyes from them, to Canadian Kim Stewart's waves of sleeping forms over which the bullying victim cautiously treads upon a tightrope, all the illustrations pound out the viciousness of bullying and juxtapose it against the frosting that could be love and kindness.  A full listing of the artists' bios is available at for more details.

In addition to the graphic representation of the poem, To This Day includes the story behind the development of the video, resources for help against bullying, links to sites related to the poem and personal anecdotes of bullying experiences of the artists.

If you are left with only one message, take this one from Shane Koyczan from his introduction, i.e., Greetings, in which he encourages everyone to find the perfect medium to express yourself.
"Remember that the world will never hear you if you choose to say nothing." (pg. 1)

1 comment:

  1. So nice to see this available in a book. I must check it out.