Who Is Amanda Gorman? Meet the Gen-Z Poet Performing at Joe Biden’s Inauguration


Amid the dozens of A-listers slated to perform at Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremonies is one name to watch out for: Amanda Gorman. At just 22, Gorman will be the youngest poet ever to recite her work at a presidential inauguration, and it’s just the latest accomplishment for this fast-rising star. Here’s everything you need to know about the next big thing in poetry:

Where is Amanda Gorman from?

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Gorman began writing when she was only eight. Because of a childhood speech impediment, which sometimes causes her issues today, writing was one of her main forms of communication.

While still a sociology student at Harvard, Gorman was named the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. Another distinction? She’s a CWOTY, of course! In fact, she composed an original poem to honor the occasion:

When I see young women, I see their glow
From their impact, how they act what they do and what they know

It’s a kind of sheen that can’t be seen in glass, diamond, or dew drops
But the light of a wave of girls who refuse to be stopped

We don’t need permission for our mission to make change,
To be ourselves, unapologetically confident, beautifully strange

We’re a dawn of a billion beams, that radiant gleam
The stardust of a girl following her dreams

You can’t steal this sparkle of mine
It only comes from a woman letting herself shine

Back in 2018, Gorman told Glamour, “You don’t have to be a poet, you don’t have to be a politician or be in the White House to make an impact with your words. We all have this capacity to find solutions for the future.” True! But isn’t it nice to be a poet and make that impact with her words…at the White House? Well, technically the steps of the Capitol, but close enough.

Gorman will be reciting her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Wednesday’s ceremonies. She told the New York Times that she had already started working on a piece for the occasion when a riot broke out during the certification of the election results, and added lines to reflect the horror of that event: 

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 told the Times, “In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years. But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal.”

What’s next for her?

Already the author of two books–Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem and The One for Whom Food is Not Enough–Gorman will surely keep writing. But she’s also planning another inauguration—her own. She told the Times in 2017 that she plans to run for president in 2036. Go, girl.


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