Nationally recognized slam poet speaks tonight
Women’s History Month is getting catapulted to the present with the arrival of third wave feminist Alix Olson to Schofield Auditorium at 7 p.m tonight.
College Feminists worked throughout the semester to bring Olson to campus by gathering sponsors and bargaining to get a discounted price for her performance.
“I’ve been a fan of hers for years, so it’s been sort of a vision of mine to bring her here since I joined (College Feminists),” said freshman Laura Vetch.
The group was interested in bringing Olson to campus because of her unique feminist perspective, Trever Hagen of the College Feminists said.
Olson’s performance highlights a mixture of feminist and pacifist messages through poetry, prose, music and stand-up. Some of the specific topics Olson covers include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual issues, reproductive rights and women’s image in the media, Vetch said.
Olson started gaining attention as a slam poetry artist when awards started coming her way in the late 1990s. She was a member of the 1998 Nuyorican Championship Slam Poetry Team, as well as the winner of the 1999 OutWrite National (poetry) Slam.
Olson’s performances have gained national attention in recent years. She has been highlighted in a number of publications including Ms. and Girlfriends magazines, along with CNN and Oxygen TV networks.
In addition to the media attention, she has shared the stage with famous artists and activists, such as Michael Moore and Pete Seeger.
Olson’s upcoming performance is especially timely with current discussions of war, Vetch said.
“The timing is perfect, because we’re at the beginning of such social potential,” Vetch said.
Olson’s performance poetry differs from the 19th century verses most students are exposed to in English classes around the country.
“It’s like poetry with an attitude,” said Vetch.
Hagen said he’s eager to hear a feminist perspective through the medium.
“I really like the slam poetry medium,” he said, “and hearing a feminist perspective through that medium is really exciting.”
Hagen said he hopes students will come out to see Olson’s free performance.