Alix Olson is a bonafide superstar of the spoken word community. She’s released three albums (“Protagonist,” “Independence Meal” and “Built Like That”); been the editor of a spoken word anthology (“Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution”); written companion poetry books to two of her albums; co-authored another Alix book (“Burning Down the House”); was the subject of a documentary (“Left Lane”); and is working on her PhD dissertation in political theory. She also gives seminars on spoken word at various arts festivals and universities. Power has been an important part of her work, she says. “My poems were where I began to think about power out loud: carving out the raw stakes of unjust power relations and also the power of queer, feminist and anti-racist resistance(s) and solidarities.” Olson, who has toured everywhere from South Africa to NYC, says that as she’s traveled, she’s been “tuning in to the countless ways peo-ple confront injustice, and making poems and community out of that beauty and rage. How could that work not keep the political optimist in me alive, and how could optimism not be the biggest reward for anyone interested in creating a different kind of world?” Powerful words, indeed. –GH

100 Women We Love 2016