Amanda Gorman, Hardly an Overnight Sensation

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman at the inauguration ceremony. U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2021

Last week 22 year old Amanda Gorman delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden.


The coverage was broadcast on thousands of news reports, and overnight Amanda became a global sensation.

She has since been interviewed on chat shows and James Gordon predicts she could be a future President!

In 2017, Gorman actually said she intends to run for president in 2036, and she has subsequently often repeated this hope.

In fact this American poet and activist has been making headlines for some time. In 2013 she became a youth delegate for the United Nations, after watching a speech by Pakistani Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Gorman was the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate, and she published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015.

Her work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora.

Born in Los Angeles

Gorman was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1998. She was raised by her mother, Joan Wicks, a 6th-grade English teacher, with her two siblings.[She has a twin sister, Gabrielle, who is an activist and filmmaker. Gorman has said she grew up in an environment with limited television access. She has described her young self as a “weird child” who enjoyed reading and writing and was encouraged by her mother.

While at Harvard, Gorman became the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate in April 2017

Gorman actually has an auditory processing disorder and is hypersensitive to sound. She also had a speech impediment during childhood.

“Gorman doesn’t view her speech impediment as a crutch—rather, she sees it as a gift and a strength.”

Gorman told The Harvard Gazette in 2018, “I always saw it as a strength because since I was experiencing these obstacles in terms of my auditory and vocal skills, I became really good at reading and writing. I realized that at a young age when I was reciting the Marianne Deborah Williamson quote that ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure’ to my mom.”

Gorman’s art and activism focus on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora.

In 2016, Gorman founded the non-profit organization One Pen One Page, a youth writing and leadership program. In 2017, she became the first author to be featured on XQ Institute’s Book of the Month, a monthly giveaway to share inspiring Gen Z’s favourite books. She also 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.

On being selected as one of Glamour magazine’s 2018 “College Women of the Year”, she said: “Seeing the ways that I as a young black woman can inspire people is something I want to continue in politics. I don’t want to just speak works; I want to turn them into realities and actions.”]

Support from Clinton

After she read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021, Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for Gorman’s 2036 aspiration.

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 commencements due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

And now she has become the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration in United States history.

Soon after Gorman’s performance at the inauguration, her two upcoming books, the poetry collection The Hill We Climb and a project for youth, Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, were at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.

The future is very bright for this incredibly talented young woman.