Alix Olson is an internationally touring folk poet and progressive queer artist-activist. One part peace vigil, one part protest rally, and one part joyful raucous concert, Alix ignites audiences everywhere she performs. Olson's innumerable stage, broadcast, radio and print appearances include, most recently, twice headlining HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" (Russell Simmons), and an inclusion in Utne Magazine's InRadio compilation. Utne's website calls Olson "...the spoken word diva everyone's talking about."
Alix has graced the cover of Ms. Magazine, who called Olson a "road-poet-on-a-mission," and her work has been featured in Girlfriends Magazine, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Curve, Lesbian Review of Books, and on the covers of Lambda Book Report, Lavender Lens, and Velvet Park magazines. A recent interview with Olson for The Progressive calls her a "word warrior" and gives a comprehensive peek into just what makes her work so compelling. Alix has appeared on the nationally syndicated Air America's "Unfiltered" radio (co-hosts Rachel Maddow, Rachel Winstead, and Chuck D), as well as on Oxygen television, CNN, HBO, In the Life, and WXPN's World Cafe with David Dye, and local radio stations around the country.
Alix was voted "Best Activist", along with MoveOn, in Venus Magazine's Hott List 2004. Olson was voted 2004 OutMusician of the Year (OutMusic), and was a triple nominee for the 2002 OUTMusic Awards. In June 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.
Howard Zinn (historian/activist) calls Alix "an ingenious poet, a brilliant performer, a funny person, a serious thinker. Quite simply, extraordinary."
Alix tours over two-hundred days a year, and has headlined national conferences for the National Organization for Women, GenderPac, and the Lesbian Summit. Most recently, Alix performed for one million people at the Washington, D.C. March for Women's Lives. She has headlined international poetry festivals in Portugal, the Netherlands, and England, and will be touring Australia in January.
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."
Above all, Alix Olson is undaunted by being labeled as "controversial." "I think any artist who confronts the status quo will be targeted as 'controversial'. We will also be called 'angry,' 'aggressive,' 'loud,' or at best, 'idealistic,' so that we are discounted, backed into a corner, and our power is deflated. But I have never been intimidated by words, because they've always been on my side."