The youngest Inaugural poet in U.S. history, Amanda Gorman, recited her original poem “The Hill We Climb” when a new president was sworn into office, and the first-ever Black and South Asian American woman holds the office as vice-president Wednesday. Dressed in a long bright yellow coat with a red headband adorning her beautifully braided hair, Gorman delivered the words of her poem with such grace that her talent reminds us that age holds no binds on a grand scale such as the 2021 Inauguration as the world witnessed. With talk surrounding the newest poet phenom, here are five things to know about Amanda Gorman.
- The youngest person to recite poetry at a presidential inauguration is a 22-year-old native of Los Angeles.
- Gorman wrote the original poem after the riots at the Capitol that happened on Jan. 6. Two weeks later, she, in her almost 5-minute reading, “called for healing and unity.”— Her words in part read, “We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it / Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy / And this effort very nearly succeeded / But while democracy can be periodically delayed / It can never be permanently defeated,” she read.
- She was recommended by the new First Lady, Jill Biden as the inaugural poet. They first met in 2017 when Gorman became America’s first-ever national youth poet laureate the same year.
- Before January 20, 2021, she also scored an invitation to the Obama White House, and in August 2020, read one of her poems on the “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” moving the talk show host to tears.
- The Harvard graduate is the sixth person to perform at the presidential inauguration and follows Robert Frost and Maya Angelou’s footsteps.
What did you think of Amana Gorman and her original poem at the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Inauguration? Share your comments @bsm_mag.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)