Alix Olson

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Not to be confused with Alex Olsen. ‹See Tfd›
Alix Olson
Alix-olson-on-mic.jpg
Born 1975
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Spoken word poet

Alix L. Olson (born 1975 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania[1]) is an American poet who works exclusively in spoken word. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1997 and uses her work to address issues of capitalism, sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, misogyny, and patriarchy. She identifies as a queer feminist.[2]

In 1997, Olson began performing at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, where she quickly made the 1998 Nuyorican Poetry Slam team. She and her fellow Nuyorican team members Lynne Procope, Steve Colman and Guy LeCharles Gonzalez would go on to win the 1998 National Poetry Slam Championship in Austin, TX.[3] This championship would lead to Soft Skull Press publishing the anthology Burning Down the House which showcased poetry by Olson, Procope, Coleman and Gonzalez as well as poetry by the 1998 Nuyorican Team's coach, Roger Bonair-Agard.[4]

Olson went on to record and publish three spoken word CDs Built Like That (2001), Independence Meal (2004) and Protagonist (2014). She also edited the spoken word anthology, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution. The book, published by Seal Press in 2007, features essays and poetry from poets such as Patricia Smith, Eileen Myles, Sarah Jones, Suheir Hammad, Staceyann Chin, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, Lynn Breedlove and Michelle Tea, with a forward by Eve Ensler[5]

Alix has toured 200 days a year but is currently on the road less as she pursues a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[6] She won the University of Massachusetts Amherst's 2013 "Distinguished Teaching Award."

On July 8th 2014, blogger Justyn Hintze wrote about the Apple Inc engraving service, which seemed to be exhibiting sexist programming. [7] According to Hintze this came to her attention on attempting to engrave her new shiny iDevice with an Alix Olson lyric I’ll give myself a lube job, shake my broomstick 'til my clit throbs, a lyric which she describes as "feminist, sex-positive, and it makes me smile. Every. single. time." The blog and subsequent campaign on Twitter - #MyClitMyChoice - has garnered international media attention[8][9][10][11].

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mind TV site: "Alix Olson / Wholly Human"". [dead link]
  2. ^ DiNovella, Elizabeth (October 2003), "Alix Olson: Word Warrior", The Progressive, retrieved 2008-02-19 
  3. ^ Aptowicz, Cristin O'Keefe. (2008). Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam. New York City: Soft Skull Press. "Chapter 19: And Two Become Three; Mouth Almighy Becomes NYC-Urbana and Nuyo's Championship Team Becomes louderARTS" ISBN 1-933368-82-9.
  4. ^ "''Burning Down the House'' Amazon site". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  5. ^ Olson, Alix, ed. (2007). Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press. ISBN 9781580052214.  edit
  6. ^ "Alix L. Olson, Graduate Student". University of Massachusetts Amherst. 
  7. ^ "Apple: Return of the Sexism?". Justyn Hintze. 
  8. ^ "'Apple is TERRIFIED of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm". The Register. 
  9. ^ "Apple: my vagina is just as appropriate as a penis, ok?". The Telegraph (UK). 
  10. ^ "Apple Will Engrave 'Penis' on Your iPad but Not 'Vagina' or 'Clit'". Jezebel. 
  11. ^ "Apple frowns on vagina, but loves penis". South Africa Times.