Amanda Gorman


Riley Ehrenberg

Amanda Gorman was born in Los Angeles, in 1998. Gorman began writing at a very young age and has gone on to become the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as a writer and graduate of Harvard University. 

    After being selected by the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Gorman finished writing her poem following the riots at the Capitol building. “In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years. But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal,” she said to  the New York Times. “It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.” Even with challenges like the pandemic and political violence, Gorman was able to write a poem that inspired hope, reflected the state of the country and left people thinking. 

    As a baby Gorman experienced chronic ear infections, leading to an auditory processing disorder that caused a speech impediment.  “My speech impediment…was dropping several letters that I just could not say for several years, most specifically the ‘r’ sound,” she explained. “I had to really work at it and practice to get to where I am today.” Instead of letting this obstacle stop Gorman from achieving her goals, she persevered and is now an amazing public speaker. 

    Gorman is an accomplished and hardworking person. When she was 16, she was named the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles; a few years later, while studying sociology at Harvard, she became the first National Youth Poet Laureate. Gorman is also an author, in September her debut poetry collection, also titled “The Hill We Climb” will be released and her debut picture book “Change Sings” is set to be released on the same day. She has also performed many poems for CBS This Morning and has spoken at venues across the country, including the Library of Congress and Lincoln Center.

    Finally Gorman plans to run for president as soon as she is eligible. The line “a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president”, was not just hypothetical. In 2017 she announced that she planned to run 2036 and she has since confirmed that she still plans to do so.