Details

Biography
Topics
Art & Politics
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer
Poetry/Spoken Word
Programs for High School Students
Women & Feminism
Youth/Student Activism

Alix Olson is one of the most powerful internationally touring spoken word artists of her generation. One part peace vigil, one part protest rally, and one part joyful raucous concert, Alix ignites audiences everywhere she performs.

Since winning 1998’s National Poetry Slam with her New York City team and 1999’s OutWrite LGBT Slam, Alix has toured worldwide, edited Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution (Seal Press), co-authored Burning Down the House (Soft Skull Press), published two books of poetry, produced three spoken word albums and the award-winning feature documentary Left Lane, and has had her work placed in dozens of anthologies and compilations. Alix has also been a monthly columnist for InsideOut Magazine and a contributing writer to Velvet Park Magazine.

Olson’s innumerable stage, broadcast, radio and print appearances include twice headlining HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam,” and television performances on Oxygen, CNN, MindTV and In the Life. Her radio appearances include nationally syndicated Air America, WXPN’s World Cafe, This Way Out, Progressive Radio, Sirius Radio’s Planet Q and internationally on Holland National Radio and Australia National Radio.  

Gracing the covers of Ms. Magazine, Curve, and Velvet Park, Alix and her work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Out, The Progressive, The Advocate, Girlfriends Magazine, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Poets and Writers, Woman Rock, Venus, Lesbian News, Gay and Lesbian Times, Nervy Girl, Salon.com, the Lesbian Review of Books, and hundreds of regional newspapers and magazines.

Alix was voted OutMusician of the Year (OutMusic) for most significant contributions to the artist-activist field, and was a triple nominee for the 2002 OUTMusic Awards. In 2003, Alix (along with Margaret Cho and Nobuko Oyabu) received the “Visionary Award” from the DC Rape Crisis Center for her “exceptional commitment to the promotion of social justice.” Past honorees include Gloria Steinem, Tori Amos, Patricia Ireland and Sarah Jones. Olson has also received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship and a Barbara Deming grant.  

From Australia’s Woodford Folk Festival to NYC’s Lincoln Center, Alix has toured nationally and internationally over two-hundred days a year, regularly headlining clubs, theaters, Pride events, arts festivals, colleges and conferences throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.  In 2004, Alix performed for one million people at the Washington, D.C. March for Women’s Lives.

Her documentary Left Lane: On the Road with Alix Olson has been featured at international film festivals in New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, Israel, France, Australia, Germany, and Hungary, as well as in over twenty film festivals in the U.S., including the Alter Magazine and Puffin Foundation Festivals.  Left Lane has been the recipient of five awards for Favorite Audience Feature and Favorite Documentary including the Paris Feminist Film Festival.

Alix was raised in Bethlehem, PA, attended college at Wesleyan University and resides in Northampton, MA. She just released her third spoken word album, Protagonist, and is pursuing her PhD in Political Theory and Feminist Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
 

Testimonials

"An ingenious poet, a brilliant performer, a funny person, a serious thinker. Quite simply, extraordinary."

— Howard Zinn, activist and author of A People's History of the United States

 

"Olson is an electrifying performer, who seduces her audiences with wit and energy."

— The Progressive

 

"Alix Olson is a red-hot, feminismo-spewin' volcano. Plus she rhymes. Listen to her now!"
— Alison Bechdel, cartoonist, Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For

 

"She's outrageous. As well as funny, warm spirited, zany, vocal, curious, a personality with so much energy bubbling over, infecting everyone around. She's full of charisma, she is real and she's full of life; she's Alix Olson."

— Johnson State College newspaper

 

"…Alix Olson brought excitement, vitality and passion to her performance at Northampton Community College…Without manuscripts or notes, Olson sent forth a meteor shower of words, word play, images, and sounds - every syllable perfectly articulated. She accompanied her language-rich verse with constant motion - her arms outstretched, her legs bending and unbending at the knee, her hands waving...Her enthusiastic audience asked her many thought-provoking questions, and she answered them thoughtfully."

— Myra Saturen, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem PA

 

 "One of America's most articulate and politically active lesbian and women's rights activists..."

— Dayton City Paper, Dayton, OH

 

“The 'road-poet-on-a-mission' rev(s) up our motors and bring us to our feet. Alix Olson empowers her audiences with her quick wit and her powerful voice that carries her message of peace and politics”

— Beth Maples-Bays, Out and About, Chattanooga, TN

 

“She tangles ropes around your consciousness... Her tones fell with a pulse that jolts inspiration and life into the dullness and sadness of a world where ‘isms reign...Alix’s words are the art of change, justice, fairness, and love.”

La Salle Collegian

 

“An advocate for grassroots truth.”
— Utne Magazine

 

“Onstage, Alix Olson works the mike like a weapon, launching scathing epithets against injustice, ignorance, and intolerance...Her voice rises fast and furious and then falls to a whisper, keeping the audience engaged even with silence. Sprinkled with emphatic obscenities, her poetry inspires audiences and challenges them to think, leaving many dizzy and breathless.”

— Minnesota Women’s Press

 

"Carrying the torch of relentless progress into the wilderness of human prejudice, Alix Olson's spoken-word poetry is nothing short of an artistic and social revelation. Her illusion shattering, poetic hammer: impassioned delivery, potent ideas, and undeniable logic, command attention and praise."

— Desiree Nall, The Creative Advocate

 

“A slam poetry luminary!”

Syracuse New Times

 

“Full of fire and amazing grace.”

— The Advocate

 

"This critically acclaimed poet will challenge everything you thought you knew. It's a little like taking the red pill in the Matrix.”

The Source, Bend, Oregon

 

“Alix Olson is the living embodiment of a wake-up call for this generation... powerful, poignant, fearless, and unflinching in its outspokenness, a much needed dose of medicine for the soul.”

— Pamela Means, Singer/songwriter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speeches

Alix typically performs a 60 - 75 minute set of spoken word poetry. Interspersed with funny tales and political quips "she can go from raging to adorable in the space of a couple hours" (Anchorage Press). Q & A following the performance is optional.

Media