Meet Amanda Gorman – The 22-Year-Old Poet Who Wowed The World At The US Inauguration

Amanda Gorman
Shonagh Walker

Lifestyle Writer

Jan 21, 2021

Amanda Gorman, 22, became the youngest poet to participate in a presidential inauguration today at the inaugural ceremony for Joe Biden. She spoke with perfect clarity, and reminded us of a young Maya Angelou, with her grace, wisdom and poise.

Amanda Gorman’s Inspiring Back Story

Amanda Gormon was raised in Los Angeles by a single mother, who is a school teacher. She is a graduate from Harvard University, where she studied sociology, and returned to live in LA after graduating. Amanda dove into writing as a young child, to help overcome a speech impediment. By the time she was 14 years old, Amanda’s words were turning heads and she joined the LA non-profit WriteGirl, which aims to empower young women and girls via creative writing.

She was soon signed by publishing giant Penguin/Random House in 2015 and released her first tome, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough. Following that, two more poetry books: The Hills We Climb, which she recited at the Inauguration, and her most current release, Change Sings, a children’s anthem that encourages kids to believe that anything is possible if we join together.

Amanda Gorman has garnered countless awards for her work and has been asked to speak at the Obama White House and to perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and others.

She has written for The New York Times newsletter, The Edit, and is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States.

Amanda Gorman

Amanda Dressed Herself For The US Inauguration (with a little help from a celeb friend!)

Amanda Gorman chose her own outfit for the auspicious occasion. She shone in a bright yellow Prada coat, which was gifted to her by the brand after she attended its Spring/Summer ’21 show as a virtual guest last year. Yellow is reportedly her favourite colour. Her black leather pencil skirt and eye-catching red headband were also by Prada. The earrings and a Caged Bird ring she accessorised her ensemble with, were a gift from none other than Oprah Winfrey, as a tribute to Maya Angelou, who read her poem On the Pulse of Morning at the first inauguration of the Clinton administration in 1993.


Following the ceremony, Amanda Tweeted: “I would be nowhere without the women whose footsteps I dance in,” she wrote, adding, “While reciting my poem, I wore a ring with a caged bird—a gift from @Oprah for the occasion , to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet. Here’s to the women who have climbed my hills before.”

Here’s part of a transcript of her poem “The Hill We Climb”:

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,

would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust.

For while we have our eyes on the future,

history has its eyes on us.

Amanda has also said that she plans to run for president in 2036. God Bless America. If Amanda Gorman is indicative of the next generation in the USA, the country is surely in great hands.


By Shonagh Walker

Lifestyle Writer

Shonagh Walker is a multi-award-winning lifestyle writer and author specialising in beauty, health, fashion, travel, pets and animals. Her career spans over 30 years, and she can't recall a day during that time, where she hasn't been excited to get to work!


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