Meet Amanda Gorman, the U.S.' Youngest Inaugural Poet

Nellie Chapman
January 21, 2021

Amanda Gorman has become the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition of presidential power in a striking performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Three years later, while studying sociology at Harvard, she became the first national youth poet laureate.

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recited her poem "The Hill We Climb" during President Joe Biden's inauguration.

Gorman's poem "The Hill We Climb" was vivid, incisive, powerful, and moving, and with influences from Hamilton to scripture, she spoke to the nation as only poetry can. "There is always light if only we're courageous enough to see it / If only we're fearless enough to be it". "If only we're fearless enough to be it". She remembers when she first started performing in public and worrying about which words she'd even be able to say out loud correctly. The Bidens, apparently, have been aware of her: Gorman says the inaugural officials told her she had been recommended by the incoming first lady, Jill Biden.

"That day gave me a second wave of energy to finish the poem", Ms. Gorman told the AP.

The Presidential inauguration is not the first high-profile event the young writer has been invited to, as her talent has seen her receive invitations to the Obama White House and to perform for Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and many others.

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For while we had our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

Gorman will become the sixth poet to perform at a presidential inauguration, continuing an intermittent tradition began in 1961 when Robert Frost recited "The Gift Outright" at John F. Kennedy's inauguration.

"While democracy can be temporarily delayed, it can never be permanently defeated", Gorman said.

"I really wanted to use my words to be a point of unity and collaboration and togetherness", she told the World Service's Newshour programme before the ceremony. The Teaching Tolerance lesson has teachers ask students to not only break down Gorman's poem for its meaning, but to consider how creative expressions can help people think about also takes a look at the historical choices for inaugural poet and why presidents made those selections. The poem is said to be a masterclass about racism and oppression. "We have to confront these realities if we're going to move forward". "She's promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can't wait", Clinton enthused in a tweet on Wednesday. So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath in my bronze-pounded chest we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.

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