Poet Amanda Gorman’s path to success hasn’t been without roadblocks. Most of us were introduced to her poetry when she read “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s inauguration on January 21. Since that monumental event, she’s been signed to IMG Models, had her upcoming books hit the top of Amazon’s chart before their publishing dates, and read a poem at the 2021 Super Bowl.
In a new episode of Apple TV+’s The Oprah Conversation, Gorman sat down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss her journey pre-fame. “I was born early, along with my twin, and a lot of times, for infants, that can lead to learning delays,” she said in the clip obtained by People. “One of my delays was in speech and speech pronunciation and also the auditory processing issue just means I really struggle as an auditory learner.”
Gorman continues, “I’m really grateful for that experience because it informs my poetry. I think it made me all that much stronger of a writer when you have to teach yourself how to say words from scratch. When you are learning through poetry how to speak English, it lends to a great understanding of sound, of pitch, of pronunciation, so I think of my speech impediment not as a weakness or a disability, but as one of my greatest strengths.”
Amanda Gorman is 23 years old, making her the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. But her aspirations don’t stop with writing—she also has plans to one day run for public office.
“When I was at Harvard, I thought I would have to go down this kind of more orthodox path of ‘Okay, so I’ll go to law school and then maybe I’ll run for local public office,'” Gorman previously told People. “Now I realized that perhaps my path will be a different one, that it might be performing my poetry and touching people that way, and then entering public office from a platform that was built off of my beliefs and thoughts and ideas.”
She has our vote!