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Bethlehem, Pa., February 22, 2005— Award-winning slam poetry artist Alix Olsen will perform her dynamic brand of performance art at Moravian College on Thursday, February 24 at 8 p.m. in the Pavilion, Haupert Union Building. With rapid beat, incisive wit, well-placed anger, and fiery delivery, Olsen gives a passionate voice to multi-layered, social and political issues. The program is free and open to area college students with ID.
Alix Olson, Bethlehem native, graduate of Liberty High School and Wesleyan University, first appeared on the slam scene in 1997. Olson was the newest member of the Santa Cruz Team from New York's Nuyorican Café when she stepped forward to deliver the winning slam in Austin, Texas. She majored in political science, and minored in women's studies at Wesleyan, but stirrings of her strong social conscience combined with performing words flared in Bethlehem.
Olson is a master manipulator of the spoken-word, swiftly cutting to the most powerful meaning. Winner of the "In Her Own Write" Poetry Competition as well as other national awards, Olson says “when I wrote my first piece, I felt like I had written my own monologue, one where I could speak truthfully about my experiences.” Her scathing wit is funny, serious, intelligent, entertaining and thought provoking. A senior student from NYU comments that "She is absolutely amazing. She has this way of drawing in everyone around her—you're hooked and you can't stop watching. And, every 15 minutes or so, you pick your jaw up off the floor."
According to her website, “Alix Olson is a nationally 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 has twice headlined HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" (Russell Simmons). She was featured on 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. She has appeared on Oxygen television, CNN, HBO, In the Life, and WXPN's World Cafe with David Dye, as well as local radio stations around the country.
Olson was voted 2004 OutMusician of the Year (OutMusic), and was a triple nominee for the 2002 OUTMusic Awards. In June 2003, Olsen (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.
The program is sponsored by the Arts and Lectures Committee at Moravian College. The Pavilion is located in Moravian College’s Haupert Union Building at Locust and Monocacy streets in Bethlehem, Pa. For more information, call (610) 861-1491.