Think poetry is dead?

Think again.

Put aside any preconceptions of poetry you might have and let’s talk slam. Slam’s nothing new–it started in the late 80s–but it’s one of those movements that refuses to die. Slam poetry is not solely about the written word. Sure, form matters, but so does the delivery. Slam poetry is meant to be spoken. To be delivered. To be shared with an audience. Here more than on paper, word flow matters. Dramatic effects add spark to the poem, turning it from simple words to an impassioned call for justice or a subtle-yet-important revelation.

And the time to recognize slam poets is upon us. August 4-8 marks the National Poetry Slam–which this year will be held in West Palm Beach, Florida. Teams from all over the US–and a few international teams!–will bring new life to Florida.

Because Slam Poetry is a great art form and because it’s an awesome way to incite and inspire change, this blog will be celebrating different slam poets and their contributions to the art form. Every Monday. Right Here.

And to kick things off, we’ll start with the one and only Alix Olson.

Subtle Sister

Alix is anything but subtle. She embodies the art of slam with bold in-your-face words and content that openly exposes the flaws in the

Alix Olson-Word Warrior

American system and gendered/social relations. She’s unabashadly feminist and she refuses to be held by gendered expectations. In addition to her fiery presence, she uses music and vocal intonations that makes her poetry better heard than read, better seen than heard.

But whatever way you get your Alix-fix, you won’t be disappointed.

She is a warrior to the core–no topic is left untouched by her razor-sharp insights. But she’s also a lover -showcased by poems that are beautiful and touching. She’s a multi-talented artist not only with her poetry, but with music. As an activist, she fights for what she believes in.

Thus far, she’s released two full length albums,  Independence Meal (featuring poetry with backing music) and Built Like That. Both showcase not only her feminist-queer ire, but also her passion, her attention to detail and history and to the finer details of love/romance.

She also edited and contributed to Word Warriors, which is a great way to discover more poets who aren’t afraid to let themselves shine.

For more info on all things Alix, check out her myspace page and get her documentary–Left Lane: on the Road with Folk Poet Alix Olson.

Alix Olson is a voice of the revolution. Defiant. Strong. Her words carry meaning that should not be ignored. Listen–and learn:

(Note that the opening of this video is Alix explaining the background of her poem “Subtle Sister.”)


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