About Alix Olson

“…an ingenious poet, a brilliant performer, a funny person, a serious thinker. Quite simply, extraordinary.”

– Howard Zinn (historian/activist, “Peoples’ History of the United States of America”)

2015_AOlson2Alix Olson is an internationally touring spoken word artist-activist. One part peace vigil, one part protest rally, and one part joyful raucous concert, Olson has ignited prestigious stages from South Africa, Australia, Europe and Canada and across the U.S. from Lincoln Center and the Bumbershoot Arts Festival to the March for Women’s Lives and nearly two hundred universities. Olson has published several volumes of poetry, produced three spoken word albums and the award-winning feature documentary Left Lane and her poetry, essays, interviews and columns have appeared in dozens of anthologies and magazines. She is the editor of the Seal Press anthology Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution (introduction by Eve Ensler) and co-author of Burning Down the House published by Soft Skull Press. 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 live radio appearances include Air America’s Unfiltered with Rachel Maddow, WXPN’s World Cafe, This Way Out, Progressive Radio, Sirius Radio and internationally on Holland National Radio and Australia National Radio.  Alix has been featured on the covers of Ms. and Curve Magazines and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Out, The Progressive, The Advocate, Girlfriends Magazine, OUT Magazine, Poets and Writers, Woman Rock, Venus, Lesbian News, Gay and Lesbian Times, Nervy Girl, Salon, the Lesbian Review of Books, and hundreds of regional newspapers and magazines.

“a mesmerizing firebrand, a joyful dyke-feminist preacher.”

-TimeOut New York

Alix has been voted OutMusic’s OutMusician of the Year for “most significant contributions to the artist-activist field” and she has 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.

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 festivals across the U.S. Left Lane has been the recipient of five awards for Favorite Audience Feature and Favorite Documentary including from the Paris Feminist Film Festival. Of her live performances, The Progressive Magazine calls Alix “an electrifying performer who seduces the audience with wit and energy, spinning tales of life on the road between her fiery poems. A sharpshooter with theatrical flair, Olson oozes both love and rage.”

Alix is currently hitting the stage with her third (entirely crowd-funded) spoken word album Protagonist, produced by musician Melissa Ferrick. She currently lives in Northampton, MA where she is working on her PhD dissertation in Political Theory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Visit her UMass site here.

“…fueling the never-ending struggle to promote independent thought. Igniting and inspiring audiences wherever she may travel, Olson uses her witty and sympathetic voice to highlight a grassroots struggle against intolerance that is as entertaining as it is poignant.”

 -The New York Times

“Alix is a red-hot, fire-bellied volcano. Listen to her now!”

— alison bechdel, cartoonist, fun home, dykes to watch out for