Feb 2, 2006


Feisty feminist slam poet shooting her mouth off at UAF


The world of radical grassroots multi-cultural, multi-sexual resilience is always beset with stress. The people with the most compassion and sensitivity to the world are consumed with sadness at things that appear to be out of their hands. Listening to world news can make a person feel voiceless amid the ongoing conflict of the world and the nation.

Reminding us that a voice is more important now than ever, activist, slam poet and radical feminist Alix Olson will fire up her spoken word for a performance in Fairbanks.

From political lambastes that level the current administration’s policies, to inward examinations of what it means to be a radical feminist seeking to deconstruct gender stereotyping, Olsonâs spoken word is a feisty recourse to powerlessness. At the heart of her work is the desire to build meaningful connections between like-minded people, while opposing the spread of a mass American amalgamation of culture.

Maintaining momentum in the field of progressive radicalism isn’t always easy, Olson admits.

“It’s easy in this culture to collect mutual sentiment against this administration because it is so glaringly bright colors of ugly,” she says. “It’s harder for people to figure out what to do. The positive side of having such a bad administration is it woke a lot of people up, but the down side is there is so much of it, it feels like everyone is scrambling — it can seem overwhelming.”

In trying to simplify the complexities of current events, Olson is searching for a new language of resistance to identify and oppose the sources responsible for creating a climate of fear and helplessness.

“The vernacular almost has been deprived of meaning,” she says. “We need new vocabulary of persuasion. I’ve been trying to put new names and words to the situation.”

Constant travels have given Olson plentiful contact with poets, artists and activists who are working at the grassroots level to effect change. That’s one of the best things about being a joyfully outraged activist poet, Olson says: Meeting people who are doing things to benefit their world.

“I get to meet so many people who are attacking the problem from so many different angles,” she says. “I get rejuvenated every night.”