Los Angeles-based poet Amanda Gorman, 22, has been chosen to read at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“I have kind of stumbled upon this genre. It’s been something I find a lot of emotional reward in, writing something I can make people feel touched by, even if it’s just for a night,” Gorman told PBS.
A Harvard graduate, Gorman will join the ranks of such celebrated poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou but will be the youngest inaugural poet to read.
She was recommended for the honor by incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, but Gorman is not new to celebration of her work. In 2014, she was named the first Youth Poet Laureate of L.A., and three years later she became the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate.
Her inaugural poem is titled, “The Hill We Climb” and tells PBS she was encouraged to focus her 5-minute work on unity and hope.
She says the day the Capitol was overtaken by insurrectionists; she was inspired to finish her poem. She says her poem will not directly point to the moment but will “touch” upon it
Gorman tells PBS that she would love to read at the 2028 Olympics, scheduled to be held in Los Angeles.