22-Year-Old Los Angeles Poet Performs at Inauguration
A 22-year-old Los Angeles woman became the youngest inaugural poet when she performed “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’ and Vice President Kamala Harris’ swearing-in ceremony, on Wednesday, Jan 20.
Amanda Gorman’s reading was bookended by a rendition of the national anthem by Lady Gaga and a musical performance by Jennifer Lopez.
Gorman, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, turned to writing from an early age in an attempt to cope with her speech impediment. At age 14, she joined WriteGirl, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that helps teen girls discover the power of their voice through creative writing.
Throughout her high school years at New Roads School in Santa Monica, Gorman attended WriteGirl’s monthly creative writing workshops and was matched with writing mentors for one-on-one mentoring.
“WriteGirl has been pivotal in my life,” Gorman said. “It’s been thanks to their support that I’ve been able to chase my dreams as a writer.”
Gorman was selected in 2014 as the first Los Angeles youth poet laureate and in 2017 as the first national youth poet laureate. She graduated in May from Harvard University with a degree in sociology.
Gorman has two books forthcoming, including her first children’s book, “Change Sings,” set to be published in September.