Who is Amanda Gorman?

Perhaps, like me, you were awestruck during the inauguration on January 20. Not just by the glass-ceiling shattering of Kamala Harris, the transfer of power and workings of democracy, the pomp and circumstance, the (mostly) excellent fashion, but primarily by the words of the young poet, Amanda Gorman.  Or, perhaps, you saw her during the opening of Super Bowl LV on February 7, a strikingly different, yet powerful, opening to the sporting event.  However you've come across her, perhaps you want to know more about who she is – her amazing story and her brilliant artistry.

A self-proclaimed “Wordsmith. Change-maker,” Amanda Gorman is the nation’s first Youth Poet Laureate and was awarded that title in 2017. Now, during the inauguration in 2021, at only 22 years old, she joined a small, select group of inaugural poets (only four Presidents have had inaugural poets): Miller Williams, Richard Blanco, Elizabeth Alexander, Robert Frost and Maya Angelou, whom I have seen many comparing Ms. Gorman to online.

In addition to being a poet, Ms. Gorman is an ardent activist, feminist, and supporter of social justice and equality. Among her many accomplishments, she graduated cum laude from Harvard University, has written for The New York Times, has spoken at the Library of Congress and Lincoln Center, and is the founder and executive director of One Pen One Page, which provides free creative writing and leadership programs for underserved youth. She has two books being published in September 2021 (both of which reached #1 and #2 on Amazon's bestseller list the day after the inauguration despite it being months until they are published!) – a collection of poetry which will include the inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” and a children’s book, Change Sings: A Youth Anthem illustrated by Loren Long, a book she says is “a children’s anthem to remind young readers that they have the power to shape the world.”

You can find Amanda Gorman online at her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Below find some articles and resources to learn more about who this brilliant young poet is.

“The Hill We Climb”

Amanda Gorman recites “The Hill We Climb” during the inauguration of President Joe Biden, 01/20/21

“The Hill We Climb” – inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman, 01/20/21, transcript from CNN

A book of “The Hill We Climb” is now available in the Library's catalog.

Amanda Gorman Performing Her Poetry

Voices of Women Summit” featuring Amanda Gorman and Alicia Keys – TIME, 03/08/21

Chorus of the Captains” – Super Bowl LV, 02/27/21

The Hill We Climb” – TIME, 02/27/21

Talking Gets Us There” – PBS Kids, 01/18/21

The Miracle of Morning” – PBS NewsHour, 01/15/21

RISE” – NowThis NEXT, 10/19/20

“Black Daughter's Pointillism” and Interview – The Kelly Clarkson Show, 08/06/20

Fury and Faith” – ABC News, 07/04/20

The Miracle of the Morning” CBS This Morning, 04/17/20

RISE” – Global Leadership Awards, 04/04/20

Tribute to the Empire State Building with Jon Batiste” – CBS This Morning, 11/27/19

Amanda Gorman: An Evening of Poetry at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 07/22/19 – Ms. Gorman reads poetry and discusses her craft.

Believer’s Hymn for the Republic” – CBS This Morning, 07/03/19

Sherrie SIlver and Amanda Gorman’s Dance/Poetry Performance Opening of Women in the World Summit, 04/10/19

Earthrise” – 12/04/18

The Republic Gives Thanks” – CBS This Morning, 11/22/18

Making Mountains as we Run” – Harvard Inauguration of Lawrence S. Bacow, 10/05/18

Roar” – Moth Boston GrandSLAM, 09/28/17

In This Place: An American Lyric” – Library of Congress, 09/20/17

The Gathering Place” – Social Good Summit, 09/19/17

2014 Inaugural LA Youth Poet Laureate: Amanda Gorman – Urban Word LA, 06/14/14

Resources, Articles and Interviews

Teaching Living Poets: Amanda Gorman Inauguration Poem Lessons

PBS NewsHour – Lesson Plan: Discuss 22-Year-Old Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Poem, “The Hill We Climb”

TEDEd Student Talks – Amanda Gorman: “Using Your Voice is a Political Choice

Women's History Month: Amanda Gorman – National Federation of High School Associations, 03/15/21

Meet Amanda Gorman: Women's History Month Spotlight – Boston Children's Museum, 03/11/21

BBC News – “Amanda Gorman effect: ‘It's going to open doors for poets‘” – BBC News, 02/07/21

Amanda Gorman – ‘The Hill We Climb' and Activism Through Poetry” – The Daily Show, 01/28/21

Interview with Luthern Williams, Head Teacher of New Roads School, Ms. Gorman’s K-12 school in California, Sky News, 01/21/21

Interview with Amanda Gorman – CBS This Morning, 01/20/21

“‘Not Broken But Simply Unfinished.’ Poet Amanda Gorman Calls for a Better America – NPR, 01/20/21

CNN’s Anderson Cooper speaks with Amanda Gorman following the inauguration, 01/20/21

Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman on Her Career-Defining Address and Paying Homage to Maya Angelou, Vouge interview, 01/20/21

“‘History has its eyes on us.’ Poet Amanda Gorman Seeks Right Words for Inauguration” – NPR, 01/19/21

Poet Amanda Gorman, on Art and Activism, WBUR, 10/15/20

The Project for Women: Amanda Gorman interview

Amanda Gorman: The Youngest Inaugural Poet in History

Amanda Gorman: Meet the First African-American Youth Poet Laureate, TODAY Show, 02/09/18

Prompt for the Planet – Amanda Gorman is asking young adults around the world to think of one element and speak in its voice through pictures and words.

826NYC quaranTEEN Voices – Writing What You are Most Afraid of with Amanda Gorman

Library of Congress National Youth Poet Laureate Celebration, 06/27/18

Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate, has speech and auditory processing issues

Who is Amanda Gorman? How the Young Poet Became the Star of Inauguration Day

Meet Amanda Gorman, the U.S.’s Youngest Inaugural Poet

On Generation Empathy – Amanda Gorman's Harvard University Virtual Reality project

Poetry Foundation: Amanda Gorman bio

National Youth Poet Laureate program – learn about the first National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, and more recent winners

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

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