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Who Is Amanda Gorman?

Meghan Overdeep
·2-min read

Who Is Amanda Gorman?

Learn about the young poet laureate who stole the show at the presidential inauguration.

Today, millions of Americans found themselves transfixed by a 22-year-old poet named Amanda Gorman.

Standing on the steps of the Capitol Building Gorman recited an original poem entitled "The Hill We Climb," making history as the sixth and the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration and following in the footsteps of poets like Maya Angelou and Robert Frost.

The Los Angeles native and recent Harvard University grad reportedly wasn't given specific instructions regarding her inauguration poem. Gorman told NPR that she finished writing it on the night of January 6, shortly after rioters took part in a siege on Capitol Hill.

"And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn't mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man," Gorman said. "And so, we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first. We must first put our differences aside."

Gorman was named the first Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles in 2014 and the country's first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. Like President Biden, she has been open about struggling with a speech impediment.

We have a feeling we'll be seeing plenty more of this talented young lady who, in 2017, told the New York Times that she plans to run for president when she's old enough—in 2036.

This collection of quotes offers a look at the themes that run throughout Gorman's growing body of work. We hope you find hope and inspiration in them.

Amanda Gorman Quotes

"There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it." - Amanda Gorman

"For it’s our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn’t endured in vain: Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it." - Amanda Gorman

"The only approval you need is your own." - Amanda Gorman

"For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us." - Amanda Gorman

"When this ends, we'll smile sweetly, finally seeing

In testing times, we became the best of things." - Amanda Gorman

"The first bud of spring sings the other seeds into joining her uprising." - Amanda Gorman

"Read children’s books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger." - Amanda Gorman