Alix Olson in 2003. Photo by Patty. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Alix Olson
Born 1975
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation Spoken word poet

Alix L. Olson (born 1975) is an American poet, who works exclusively in spoken word, and academic.


Olson was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.[1] She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1997.

Olson earned a Bachelor of Arts at Wellesley, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA).[2] She holds a graduate certificate in advanced feminist studies from UMA, and is an assistant professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Oxford College, Emory University.[3]

In 1997, Olson began performing at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, where she eventually made the 1998 Nuyorican Poetry Slam team. She and her fellow Nuyorican team members Lynne Procope, Steve Coleman and Guy LeCharles Gonzalez would go on to win the 1998 National Poetry Slam championship that year in Austin, TX.[4]

The championship win 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.[5]

Olson 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, among others.[6]


She uses her work to address issues of capitalism, sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, misogyny, and patriarchy. She identifies as a queer feminist.[7]



  • Built Like That: The word. New York: Subtle Sister Productions, 2001.
  • Independence Meal: The ingredients. New York: Subtle Sister Productions, 2003.


  • Word Warriors: 35 women leaders in the spoken word revolution. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2007.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[8]

Audio / video Edit

Alix Olson - America on Sale on Def Jam Poetry

Alix Olson - America on Sale on Def Jam Poetry

Alix olson - Gender Game

Alix olson - Gender Game


  • Left Lane: A year on the road with Alix Olson (DVD). One Angry Woman Productions / Subtle Sister Productions, 2004.


  • Built Like That (CD). Brooklyn, NY: Feed the Fire Productions, 2001.
  • Independence Meal (CD). Subtle Sister Productions, 2003.

Except where noted, discographical information courtesy WorldCat.[8]

See alsoEdit

References Edit


  1. Mind TV site: "Alix Olson / Wholly Human"
  2. Alix L. Olson, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts - Amherst. Web, Sep. 20, 2018.
  3. Academic, Web, Sep. 20, 2018.
  4. 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.
  5. Burning Down the House Amazon site
  6. Word Warrior Amazon site
  7. DiNovella, Elizabeth (October 2003), "Alix Olson: Word Warrior", The Progressive,, retrieved 2008-02-19 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Search results = au:Alix Olson, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Nov. 4, 2015.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
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