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22-Year-Old Amanda Gorman Stole The Show As Youngest Ever Inaugural Poet

Amy Pilkington 21 Jan 2021

On January 6, 2021, Joe Biden was officially sworn in as the new President of the United States in an Inauguration Day unlike any other.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and security concerns, there were no cheering crowds, balls, or fireworks, and the few attendees wore masks except at the podium, which was carefully disinfected between speakers. Only a few special guests were invited to perform.

Even though she was proceeded by powerhouses like Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, it was poet Amanda Gorman who stole the show.

Democratic party inaugurations have long held a tradition of inviting a poet to perform during the ceremony.

Previous presidents have invited big names like Robert Frost and Maya Angelou, but Biden's committee took a recommendation from Dr. Jill Biden herself and reached out to 22-year-old Amanda Gorman.

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Gorman isn't a complete unknown.

In 2014, she was named as the first Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. Then three years later, she continued on to become the first National Youth Poet Laureate.

Now she's added another milestone to her series of records as the youngest ever poet to perform at an inauguration, and boy did she bring her A-game.

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The crowd and live newscasters were silent as she performed 'The Hill We Climb', a five-minute piece written specifically for the inauguration.

The poem spoke directly to current events and the hopes for America's future.

"Where a skinny Black girl

descended from slaves and raised by a single mother

can dream of becoming president

only to find herself reciting for one."

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Audiences were so taken by her performance and words that her two forthcoming books jumped straight to the top of the Amazon chart.

One is The Hill We Climb which includes the poem she performed, and the other is Change Sings, a children's book she created alongside illustrator Loren Long.

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If you didn't get the chance to see her inaugural performance, or just want to relive it, be sure to watch the video below.

The full text of "The Hill We Climb" can be read here.

It seems clear that Gorman's career is only just beginning and where she could go next will be amazing to watch.

If you'd like to follow her on social media, she is on Twitter @TheAmandaGorman and Instagram @amandascgorman.

h/t: CNN, The Toronto Star

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