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Amanda Gorman Biography

Amanda Gorman
 Published on Sunday January 24, 2021 - 1:18 AM
Read her poem 'The Hill We Climb' at Joe Biden inauguration
* American poet and activist - First person Named National Youth Poet Laureate *
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Image Info: By Shawn Miller -, Public Domain,
Amanda Gorman
Amanda S. C. Gorman is an American poet and activist. Her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. In 2021, she delivered her poem 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden.

Early life and education

Gorman was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 7, 1998. She was raised by her mother, Joan Wicks, a teacher, with her two siblings. She has a twin sister, Gabrielle, who is an activist and filmmaker. Gorman has said she grew up in an environment with limited television access. She has described her young self as a 'weird child' who enjoyed reading and writing and was encouraged by her mother.

Gorman has an auditory processing disorder and is hypersensitive to sound. She also had a speech impediment during childhood. Gorman participated in speech therapy during her childhood and Elida Kocharian of The Harvard Crimson wrote in 2018, 'Gorman doesn't view her speech impediment as a crutch—rather, she sees it as a gift and a strength.' Gorman told The Harvard Gazette in 2018, 'I always saw it as a strength because since I was experiencing these obstacles in terms of my auditory and vocal skills, I became really good at reading and writing. I realized that at a young age when I was reciting the Marianne Deborah Williamson quote that 'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure' to my mom.'

Gorman attended New Roads, a private school in Santa Monica, for grades K–12. As a senior, she received a Milken Family Foundation college scholarship. She studied sociology at Harvard College, graduating cum laude in 2020 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Poetry and activism

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, and Gorman in 2017 Gorman's art and activism focus on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman said she was inspired to become a youth delegate for the United Nations in 2013 after watching a speech by Pakistani Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. Gorman was chosen as the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014. She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015.

In 2016, Gorman founded the nonprofit organization One Pen One Page, a youth writing and leadership program. In 2017, she became the first author to be featured on XQ Institute's Book of the Month, a monthly giveaway to share inspiring Gen Z's favorite books. She wrote a tribute for black athletes for Nike and has a book deal with Viking Children's Books to write two children's picture books.

In 2017, Gorman became the first youth poet to open the literary season for the Library of Congress, and she has read her poetry on MTV. She wrote 'In This Place: An American Lyric' for her September 2017 performance at the Library of Congress, which commemorated the inauguration of Tracy K. Smith as Poet Laureate of the United States. The Morgan Library and Museum acquired her poem 'In This Place ' and displayed it in 2018 near works by Elizabeth Bishop.

While at Harvard, Gorman became the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate in April 2017. She was chosen from five finalists. In 2017, Gorman won a $10,000 grant from media company OZY as part of the OZY Genius Awards.

In 2017, Gorman said she wants to run for president in 2036, and she has subsequently often repeated this hope. After she read her poem 'The Hill We Climb' at President Joe Biden's inauguration in 2021, Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for this 2036 aspiration.

Gorman reading 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration of Joe Biden in 2021. In May 2020, Gorman appeared in an episode of the web series Some Good News hosted by John Krasinski, where she had the opportunity to virtually meet Oprah Winfrey and issued a virtual commencement speech to those who could not attend physical commencements due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S..

In 2020, Gorman presented 'Earthrise', a poem focused on the climate crisis.

Gorman read her poem 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, and is the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration in United States history. Jill Biden recommended her for the inauguration. After January 6, 2021, Gorman amended her poem's wording to address the storming of the United States Capitol. During the week before the inauguration, she told Washington Post book critic Ron Charles, 'My hope is that my poem will represent a moment of unity for our countr'y and 'with my words, I'll be able to speak to a new chapter and era for our nation.'

Soon after Gorman's performance at the inauguration, her two upcoming books, the poetry collection The Hill We Climb and a project for youth, Change Sings: A Children's Anthem, were at the top of Amazon's bestseller list. Both are scheduled to be released in September 2021.

Personal life Gorman is a Black Catholic, a member of St. Brigid Church in her hometown of Los Angeles.

Bibliography The Hill We Climb: Poems. Viking Books for Young Readers. 2021. ISBN 978-0-593-46506-6. OCLC 1232185776. The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country. Viking Books for Young Readers. 2021. ISBN 978-0-593-46527-1. OCLC 1232234825. Change Sings: A Children's Anthem. Viking Books for Young Readers. 2021. ISBN 978-0-593-20322-4. OCLC 1232149089.


  1.  Jump up to:a b Walsh, Colleen . 'The poetic perspective'The Harvard Gazette. Retrieved January 22,2021.
  2.  Gorman, Amanda . 'Lin is back on Twitter best bday gift ever'  – via Twitter.
  3.  Jump up to:a b c d Hassan, Adeel . 'A Young Poet's Inspiration'The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  4.  Engelmayer, Caroline S. . 'Harvard Sophomore Chosen as First Youth Poet Laureate | News | The Harvard Crimson' Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  5.  'Meet Amanda Gorman, the L.A. Native Who Is the First National Youth Poet Laureate ~ L.A. TACO'L.A. TACO. March 22, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  6.  Jump up to:a b 'Meet the First Youth Poet Laureate'NBC Learn. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  7.  Rodriguez-Cayro, Kyli . 'These Twin Sisters Have A Powerful Message About Making Sure Your Resistance Includes All Women'Bustle. Retrieved April 30,2018.
  8.  Luders-Manuel, Shannon . 'Meet Gabrielle Gorman: Filmmaker and YoungArts Winner'Essence. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  9.  Larsen, Peter . 'Los Angeles native Amanda Gorman will be youngest poet to read at presidential inauguration'The Orange County Register. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  10.  Jump up to:a b c Hawkins, Khaliha . 'America's First Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman on the Power of Young Women'Glamour. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  11.  Gorman, Amanda . 'How Poetry Gave Me a Voice'Huffington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  12.  Breslow, Jason . 'History Has Its Eyes On Us.' Poet Amanda Gorman Seeks Right Words For Inauguration'NPR. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  13.  Jump up to:a b Kocharian, Elida . 'American Lyricist'The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved January 21,2021.
  14.  '16 Alumna and US Youth Poet Laureate Presents Poem at Library of Congress' September 14, 2017.
  15.  Goodman, Jeff . 'Santa Monica students win Milken scholarships'Santa Monica Daily Press. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  16.  Flood, Alison . 'Amanda Gorman will be youngest poet to recite at a presidential inauguration'The Guardian. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  17.  'Wordsmith. Change-maker'Amanda Gorman. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  18.  'Amanda Gorman'Poetry Foundation. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  19.  @PhiBetaKappa . 'Congratulations again to PBKmember @TheAmandaGorman. Her words and presentation yesterday were a remarkable testament to the power of the humanities:'  – via Twitter.
  20.  @FrederickLawrence . '@PhiBetaKappa is enormously proud of our member @TheAmandaGorman for her words and presentation of 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration of @POTUS. Her words will continue to sustain us, challenge us, and inspire us'  – via Twitter.
  21.  Jump up to:a b Hassan, Adeel . 'A Coda to Black History Month'The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  22.  Petronzio, Matt . 'Watch the first-ever U.S. youth poet laureate perform a stunning poem about social change'Mashable. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  23.  Hawgood, Alex . 'How Amanda Gorman Became the Nation's First Youth Poet Laureate'The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 30,2018.
  24.  Sonksen, Mike . 'Mentoring the Next Generation of L.A. Letters'KCET. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  25.  Eppolito, Sophia . 'A young poet for whom words are not enough'The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  26.  Gilpin, Caroline Crosson . 'Do You Read or Write Poetry?'The New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  27.  'Gender Letter: All the Poetry That's Fit to Print'The New York Times. April 26, 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  28.  Italie, Hillel. 'Meet Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet chosen to read at the inauguration of Joe Biden' Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  29.  Italie, Hillel . 'Poet Amanda Gorman, 22, Will Read at Biden's Inauguration'Time. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  30.  'Poet and former Youth Laureate Amanda Gorman has book deal'The Boston GlobeAssociated Press. July 11, 2019. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  31.  Jump up to:a b 'Harvard's Amanda Gorman first youth poet to open Library of Congress literary season'The Boston Globe. September 18, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  32.  Charles, Ron . 'New U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reports for dut'yThe Washington PostISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  33.  Fouriezos, Nick . 'How a Young Poet Is Nurturing Empathy ... With Virtual Realit'yOZY. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  34.  Rego, Paula . 'America's First Youth Poet Laureate Also Wants to Run For President In 2036!'Essence. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  35.  Sheppard, Elena . 'America's 20-year-old youth poet laureate won't let 'small-minded prejudice' stop her'Yahoo!. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  36.  Barajas, Julia . 'How a 22-year-old L.A. native became Biden's inauguration poet'Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  37.  Krueger, Hanna; Diti Kohli . 'Amid presidents and pop stars, poet Amanda Gorman grabs the spotlight at inauguration'The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 11, 2021. She plans on taking the oath of office herself. 'I always say the really, really long-term goal, meaning 2036, is to become president,' Gorman said in a 2017 interview with the Globe after being named the first National Youth Poet Laureate. She has repeated the hope in interviews ever since.
  38.  'Amanda Gorman: Inauguration poet calls for 'unity and togetherness'BBC News. January 10, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021. Hillary Clinton tweeted that Gorman had promised to run for president in 2036 and added: 'I for one can't wait.'
  39.  Marie Zorrilla, Mónica . 'Who Is 22-Year-Old Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman?'Variety. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  40.  Countdown, Ted . 'Earthrise' poem dares us to dream a different realit'yRace to Zero. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  41.  Holthaus, Eric . 'Amanda Gorman, the climate poet for our time' Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  42.  'Presidential Inaugural Committee Announces Participants in the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies' January 14, 2021.
  43.  Gabbatt, Adam . 'An inspiration to us all': Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem stirs hope and awe'The Guardian. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  44.  Shalal, Andrea . 'Poet Amanda Gorman, 22, captures 'bruised, but whole' U.S. at Biden, Harris inauguration'Reuters. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  45.  Alter, Alexandra . 'Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet, asks 'Where can we find light?' in Inauguration Day recitation'The New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  46.  Neumann, Sean . 'Amanda Gorman, 22, Will Be the Youngest Poet to Read at an Inauguration Day Ceremon' Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  47.  Inskeep, Steve . 'History has its eyes on us: Interview with Amanda Gorman'National Public Radio. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  48.  Wang, Amy B; Merry, Stephanie . 'Amanda Gorman reads poem 'The Hill We Climb' at Biden inauguration'The Washington Post. Retrieved January 21,2021.
  49.  Jump up to:a b Evelyn, Kenya . 'Amanda Gorman books top bestselling lists after soul-stirring inaugural poem'The Guardian. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  50.  Tinner-Williams, Nate . 'Amanda Gorman: Poet Laureate, bestseller, Ivy Leaguer and Black Catholic'Black Catholic Messenger. Retrieved January 21,2021.

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