Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet laureate from Los Angeles, recited "The Hill We Climb" for the 46th Presidential Inauguration.
Today, Amanda Gorman, a Poet Laureate and and an activist from Los Angeles, became the sixth and also youngest poet to recite at a presidential inauguration.
Following in the footsteps of greats like Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander, Gorman debuted an original piece titled "The Hill We Climb" at the ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Washington, D.C.
Amanda Gorman joins the likes of great American poets like Maya Angelou and Robert Fros, as she became the sixth poet to ever perform at a presidential inauguration. Her poem "The Hill We Climb" is a true depiction of what's been happening in the past year. She discusses the global pandemic, systematic racism, and the events that took place a few weeks ago when insurrectionists took over the Capitol. Amanda's poem was praised by both sides of the aisle for seeking unity in a time of great divide.
Here are five things you didn't know about Amanda Gorman:
She's the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate
When she was attending college at Harvard University as a sociology major, Amanda became the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the country. Being a poet laureate is one of the most prestigious titles for a poet.
She has a speech impediment.
Amanda told the LA Times that her speech impediment has "made me the performer that I am and the storyteller that I strive to be. When you have to teach yourself how to say sounds, when you have to be highly concerned about pronunciation, it gives you a certain awareness."
This fall, she'll publish a children's book.
In September, Amanda plans to publish the first of his two children's books. Titled "Change Sings," the book aims to put kids at the forefront of change-making. The book will be published by Penguin Random House.
Before taking the stage, she asked former inaugural poet, Elizabeth Alexander, for advice.
"She just basically told me, ‘The poem is already written, it’s already done. Now, it’s just up to you to bring it to life as best as you can,’” Amanda said in an interview with The New York Times.
She is publishing a book titled like her inaugural poem.
In the form of a poetic picture book, The Hill We Climb will include her poem and several other works. If you want to pre-order a copy, you can get one from Penguin Random House's website here.