Woman Crush Wednesday (WCW): Amanda Gorman

by Duke Magazine

Amanda Gorman is heralded as “the next great figure in American poetry.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is a graduate of Harvard University and was at the top of her class studying sociology. Since publishing a poetry collection at age 16, her writing won her invitations to the Obama White House and to perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai and others. In 2017, she was named the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States. She has performed 4th of July and Thanksgiving poems for CBS, and has widely spoken at events and venues across the United States, including the Library of Congress and Lincoln Center. She was chosen to read at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, becoming the youngest inaugural poet in history.

Gorman has received a Genius Grant from OZY Media as well as recognition from Scholastic Inc., YoungArts, Glamour magazine College Women of the Year Awards and the Webby Awards. She currently writes for the New York Times newsletter. She is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States.

Under a decade ago, Amanda Gorman was still a teenage student in Los Angeles, spending her days devouring the works of Toni Morrison and furiously scribbling in her journals with the dream of one day becoming a writer. After submitting her poems to local competitions, she was named the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles in 2014, becoming the first National Youth Poet Laureate three years later. And today, at 22 years old, Gorman steps up to her biggest career milestone yet: delivering an original poem, titled “The Hill We Climb,” to celebrate the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States.

How Gorman became famous is more like fate than simple serendipity. A powerful reading of her poem “In This Place: An American Lyric,” delivered at the Library of Congress in 2017, caught the eye of Dr. Jill Biden, who contacted her last month about writing an original poem for her husband’s swearing-in ceremony. What was already a hugely intimidating task—crafting a poem that could both capture and reckon with the stark political division of the current moment became all the more daunting in the wake of the riots that overtook the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, unfolding just as Gorman was finishing her piece. 

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
? Hi, how can I help?