After becoming the youngest poet to win a provincial and national spoken word championship in the same year (2014), Andrew Warner has published four collections of poetry, toured in 25+ cities, graduated college at 19, and created his first cinematic poem, Mangoes, on Button Poetry, the world’s largest online channel for spoken word.
Starring in Shane Koyczan’s cinematic short Heaven or Whatever in 2015, Andrew was inspired to create poetic work for online audiences. Mangoes is currently in its sixth film festival under official selection, and four other poems from Andrew’s published collection will be films by the end of 2018.
Absolutely - I just left it. Grade 9 my brother showed me Shane Koyczan's “Grandma's Got It Going On” and I can't tell you how many times I have listened to his poems since. I immediately bought his books to read and then started visiting my library to read emerging and established voices too.
I started writing poems at eight or nine. It was then I decided I wanted to grow into a performer as my career choice. But I didn't realize I wanted to write poetry and perform it until I saw what poets like Shane Koyczan could do with words live. I added “poet” to my bio before graduating high school, after I had just won nationals in the youth poetry slam championships — there I met and drew inspiration from people who made a living as poets.
A poet's job is to tell stories. But the same could be said for a stand-up comedian or any public speaker really. I define a poet's job by their committment to wordplay; their ability to use poetic device.
“When I was Fair and Young” by Queen Elizabeth I.