Huge congratulations to Amanda Gorman who read an original poem she wrote for President Joe Biden during his swearing – in ceremony today. She says she plans to stress the need for unity. Amanda landed today’s gig after catching Dr. Jill Biden’s eye when she read her poem “In This Place: An American Lyric” at the Library of
Congress in 2017. Amanda says today’s poem was inspired by poets like Maya Angelou and Robert Frost.
Here are 10 things you should know about Amanda.
1. At the age of 22, Gorman has made history becoming the youngest person to read a poem at an inauguration ever.
2. Gorman is a Los Angeles native who started her writing career when she was
only a few years old.
3. Gorman told NPR that she finished writing the poem titled “The Hill We Climb” just hours after insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020. She plans to stress the need for unity after the U.S. endured years of division under the Trump Administration.
4. This isn’t the first time Gorman has been asked to read a poem for a person with status. According to her website, Gorman was invited to the White House during President Barack Obama’s presidency. She also performed for Hamilton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and activist Malala Yousafzai.
5. In August 2020, Gorman read one of her poems on The Kelly Clarkson Show. It was so emotionally charged that Kelly Clarkson couldn’t hold back her tears.
6. Gorman isn’t just an amazing poet, but she’s also talented intellectually. The 22-year-old graduated cum laude from Harvard University where she studied Sociology.
7. She’s an award-winning writer who has received a Genius Grant from OZY Media. Gorman was also recognized by Scholastic Inc., YoungArts, the Glamour magazine College Women of the Year Awards, and the Webby Awards. She’s written for The New York Times newsletter The Edit and is working on two books with Penguin Random House.
8. In 2017, Gorman was named the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the U.S. by the UrbanWord and the Library of Congress.
9. Last year, Gorman wrote the manifesto for Nike’s 2020 Black History Month campaign.
10. One thing you may not have known is that Gorman overcame a speech impediment. In an interview with the LA Times, she opened up about struggling with her speech. She said, “For me, there was this other echelon of pressure, which is: Can I say that which needs to be said?”
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