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Learn more about the youngest inaugural poet Amanda Gorman

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 20, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool via REUTERS

By Mia Salas

Incredible, inspiring, and history-making women in our country really seem to be today’s takeaway (sorry, President Biden— we love you too!). From Lady Gaga’s breathtaking performance of the National Anthem, to Kamala Harris taking her place as the first woman VP, to Dr. Jill Biden becoming the 1st First Lady to hold a paying job outside of the White House (Jill, you are our idol!), women are front and center. And speaking of spectacular women, after hearing Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb”, we had to share more here about the youngest inaugural poet in US history. 

“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true. That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried that will forever be tied together victorious.” 

Gorman joins the list of women making history in 2021– at just 22 years old, she guided our country towards unity, love, and strength when she read her poem at today’s inauguration. Hours later, we’re still thinking about the powerful words that she shared. If you’re dying to know more about Gorman, like we were, then keep reading because we’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know about the young woman who reminded us of the beauty and impact that words can have. 

“But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.”

Gorman grew up with a speech impediment, and she started writing as another outlet to express herself. At just 14 years old, she began helping other teen girls kick start their creative writing through an LA-based nonprofit. Flash forward to age 16, Gorman was named the Youth Poet Laureate of LA. She went on to major in sociology at Harvard University, became the first National Youth Poet Laureate, and published a poetry book in 2015 called “The One for Whom Food is Not Enough”. Talk about inspiration! 

“We will rebuild, reconcile and recover in every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful.”

But how did Gorman come up with the most fitting words to say on inauguration day? Not only did she research speeches by Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., but she used the emotions she felt during the Capitol siege on January 6 to wrap up her poem. And what she ended up sharing left us all with chills, with thrill, with hope. 

“For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”  

This story first appeared on our sister publication newyorkfamily.com.

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