Amanda Gorman continues her climb and inspires a nation

Youngest inaugural poet, first National Youth Poet Laureate, book deal at 16 - Gorman's life and work has set an impressive standard

Amanda Gorman captured the hearts of the world after performing her inspirational poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at the January 2021 inauguration. The young poet has a way with words that speaks to the soul and challenges people to push for change. 

Those are skills she began building as a child writing and growing up in Los Angeles. Before becoming the youngest inaugural poet last year, Gorman had an appreciable list of accomplishments.

She became the first Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles at 16 and secured a book deal with that honor. Gorman’s published her first collection of poetry titled “The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough” in 2015. Two years later, the National Youth Poet Laureate program named Gorman its first honoree.

Amanda Gorman reads her commissioned poem “The Hill We Climb” during the 59th presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in 2021. (Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP, File)

Gorman’s work focuses on issues related to oppression, feminism, and race. Concentrating on those topics led to Gorman serving as a youth delegate for the United Nations in 2013, and in 2016 she enrolled in Harvard University where she graduated cum laude with a degree in sociology.

At the end of 2021, Gorman released a poem titled “New Day’s Lyric,” which centers on her reflection of the hardships during the current COVID-19 pandemic and the hope she maintained. Her message is simple: Acknowledge your hardships and your triumphs, and trust that is there is nothing you can’t overcome.

Gorman’s poem encourages readers to be still to reflect and to act to build a better tomorrow. Through her poetry, she serves as a pillar of revolution and an influence to all. This excerpt from “New Day’s Lyric” expresses it all:

“​​Know what we’ve fought

Need not be forgot nor for none.

It defines us, binds us as one,

Come over, join this day just begun.

For wherever we come together,

We will forever overcome.”

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