We all know Amanda Gorman as the regal and eloquent poet who stole the hearts of a nation at the 2021 inauguration. However, her confidence and strength is something she worked hard to build. Her passion for writing was nurtured from a young age and before she was out of middle school already had her first book of poems published! Programs such as WriteGirl provided Gorman with the mentorship and opportunities to really grow as a writer.
Did you know…Amanda Gorman overcame an auditory processing disorder and a speech impediment. Her determination helped her learn to confidently speak in front of an audience to share her poetry.
Hear Amanda, at age 16, read her poem, Linguistics Rising, from her first published collection The One for Whom Food is Not Enough.
Amanda has said that it was not until she saw that her 3rd grade teacher was a published writer, that she ever thought of that kind of career for herself!
Amanda currently has three books where you can read her work!
Fun Fact: Amanda Gorman was the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 after serving as the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate in 2014!
In addition to passionate work on the presentation of her poems, Amanda has expressed that her writing style began to develop dramatically when she discovered the work of other black writers such as Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Phillis Wheatly, Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, and Sharon G. Flake. Her work now often features social justice issues such as feminism and race.
“I realized then that stories could actually be about people who look like me.”
Fun Fact: Gorman graduated from Harvard University where she studied sociology!
Amanda Gorman has an impressive list of appearances where she was called upon to read her poetry or commissioned to create a poem to mark a special event. Some of these events were held at places such as…
- The Library of Congress
- CBS This Morning
- The Lincoln Center
- The White House
“I always have an internal celebration when my poetry, as unapologetically black and female as it is, can sit beside works and institutions that represent a completely different sociopolitical time,” she reflects.
Amanda became a household name when she read her poem, The Hill We Climb at the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Did you know…
Fashion is an important part of Amanda Gormans presentation style!
“Fashion brings a distinct visual aesthetic to language. When I’m performing onstage, I’m not just thinking about my clothing, but what my Wakanda Forever T-shirt and yellow skirt is saying about my identity as a poet,” she says… “Through it all, I want to remain true to myself.”
Amanda Gorman has also created and supported various non-profits encouraging young writers.
Fun Fact: Amanda has big plans for her future including running for president in 2036!
More blogs featuring current Black artists making history are coming all month long!