Amanda S. C. Gorman (born March 7, 1998) is an American poet and activist from Los Angeles, California. Gorman’s work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman is the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. In 2021, she delivered the poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of Joe Biden.
Gorman’s art and activism focus on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman said she was inspired to become a youth delegate for the United Nations in 2013 after watching a speech by Pakistani Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. Gorman was chosen as the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014. She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015.
Gorman is the founder of the nonprofit organization One Pen One Page, which runs a youth writing and leadership program. In 2017, she became the first youth poet to open the literary season for the Library of Congress, and she has read her poetry on MTV. The Morgan Library and Museum acquired her poem “In This Place (An American Lyric)” and displayed it in 2018 near works by Elizabeth Bishop. In 2017, Gorman became the first author to be featured on XQ Institute’s Book of the Month, a monthly giveaway to share inspiring Gen Z’s favorite books. She wrote a tribute for black athletes for Nike and has a book deal with Viking Children’s Books to write two children’s picture books.Gorman reading “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of Joe Biden in 2021.
In May 2020, Gorman appeared in an episode of the web series Some Good News hosted by John Krasinski, where she had the opportunity to virtually meet Oprah Winfrey and issued a virtual commencement speech to those who could not attend physical commencements due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States of America.
Gorman read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden‘s inauguration on January 20, 2021, and is the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration in United States history. Dr. Jill Biden recommended Gorman for the inauguration. After January 6, 2021, Gorman amended her poem’s wording to address the storming of the United States Capitol. During the week before the inauguration, Gorman told The Washington Post book critic Ron Charles, “My hope is that my poem will represent a moment of unity for our country,” and that “with my words, I’ll be able to speak to a new chapter and era for our nation.”
Video source: ABC News.