At 22, Amanda Gorman is the youngest Inaugural Poet ever.
Whether you watched the presidential inauguration or not, you’ve probably heard of Amanda Gorman. Her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” shook the country. Gorman quickly became the voice of hope in America, especially during these tough times.
It’s no surprise that Gorman has won a number of awards over the years. In 2014, at the age of 16, she became the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles, her hometown. Three years later, she became the first national youth poet laureate.
Now, she is the youngest inaugural poet ever. Gorman follows in the footsteps of Maya Angelou and Robert Frost as one of only six inaugural poets.
“The Hill We Climb” Performance
As a spoken word poet, Gorman has performed her work a number of times, including for Lin Manuel Miranda, Hillary Clinton, and Malala Yousfzai. Based on her performances, it’s hard to imagine that she suffers from a speech impediment, proving that disability is not a weakness.
Gorman has also performed poems for a number of events, shows, and special occasions. For example, she performed “Earthrise” to bring awareness to climate change. She also partnered with musician Jon Batiste to celebrate the Empire State building.
“The Republic Rising”
Of course, like any poet, you can also find Gorman showcasing her work on social media. Not only does she post her performances on her Instagram and Twitter, but she also shares her written work.
With her impressive resume, it might be surprising that Gorman doesn’t already have a collection of poetry. But that is about to change. Her first collection, The Hill We Climb: Poems, will debut in September, 2021. She will also release a children’s book on the same day.
Named after, and including her inaugural poem, this collection of poems is striking. Gorman wrote her inaugural poem while quarantining in 2020. She wrote it after watching the BLM protests in the summer and the police brutality that accompanied them. She performed her poem only two weeks after a mob attacked the capitol. Gorman speaks about the horrors our country has faced, but reminds us of the hope that can come out of it all.
If her performance on January 20th, 2021 was a preview of this collection, then there is no doubt that Gorman is truly an unforgettable voice in poetry.
While we don’t usually showcase children’s books on little infinite, it is quite fitting to feature a children’s book written by the first national youth poet laureate. Using her lyrical writing, Gorman shows young readers and aspiring poets that anything is possible when you join voices together.
The book follows a young girl and a cast of characters as they find the power to make big changes in their world, their community, and themselves. Anyone can use their unique abilities to make a difference.
Let us know what you think of Gorman’s work. Have you read any of her poems before? Or, are you just discovering her now? Are you looking forward to her debut collection?