Amanda Gorman is a fellow Angelino that made history Wednesday January 20th, 2021, becoming the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration. Gorman eloquently echoed president Joe Biden’s message of healing and unity stating, “We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.”
So, who is this young, talented author?Embed from Getty Images
Not only are Gorman’s poems incredibly inspiring, but so is her life and all of her accomplishments. Gorman grew up in what she calls an “incredibly odd intersection in Los Angeles, where it felt like the black ’hood met black elegance met white gentrification met Latin culture met wetlands.” Gorman was raised by a single mother, Joan Wicks. The author would commute from their two-bedroom apartment to private school in Malibu- she credits this experience for giving her “an appreciation for different cultures and realities,” however it is also what made her feel like an “outsider,” as she told the New York Times back in 2018.
The 22-year-old California native is America’s First Youth Poet Laureate as well. After listening to a speech by Malala Yousafzai, Gorman was inspired to a become a youth delegate for the United Nations at the age of 16. Just one year later she became the very first Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate. One year after that in 2016 she published her first book, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough. Gorman graduated from Harvard with a degree in sociology and often speaks on a broad range of issues from global warming, to migrant child incarcerations.
On Wednesday January 20, 2021 Gorman made history once more becoming the youngest poet to read at a presidential election. During the inauguration, Gorman recited her poem, The Hill We Climb, which was written in the weeks after the 2020 Presidential Election and finalized in January shortly after the 2020 storming of the United States Capitol. Her performance is quickly garnering views on Youtube, with one video receiving over 200k views in just 4 hours. (See her full performance at the inauguration below!)
If you loved, The Hill We Climb as much as we did, be sure to check out these other poems by Amanda Gorman.