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Amanda Gorman was born in 1998, with her twin sister Gabrielle, in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Joan Wicks, was an English teacher and single mother of three children, Spencer, Amanda’s older brother, and Gabriella and Amanda.
The twin girls are both all about making differences in the would and changing things in a positive way, Gabrielle is an activist and a filmmaker. Some people may only know of Amanda Gorman because of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, but the young woman has been in the public eye for quite some time now.
Amanda has been in love with poetry since the third grade, and at age 5 Amanda was writing songs but soon after made the shift from working on lyrics to writing poems. In 2014, at just 16 years old, she was chosen as Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. In 2016, she founded ‘One Pen, One Page’, an organization that promotes youth creative writing.
She worked with Michelle Obama when her and Barack were still in the White House. In 2017, Gorman received a $10,000 grant from OZY Genius Awards. Amanda has also been modeling with fashion industries such as Prada, and Helmut Lang. She also graduated from Harvard University, while attending Harvard however, she became the first national youth poet laureate in 2017.
Amanada Gorman Quotes
- “I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years, but what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with New York Times
- “While we might feel small, separate, and all alone, our people have never been more tightly tethered. The question’s not if we will weather this unknown, but how we will weather the unknown together.” – Amanda Gorman, ‘The Miracle of Morning’
- “I saw tens of thousands of women sharing their pain on the internet and I decided to write this piece, ‘Sestina for my Sisters’. For me, it was a way to play with shape, play with this poetic form with a topic that felt raw and changing in a way that this structure is not.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “I’m so glad you brought up the last line, hope isn’t something that we ask of others, it’s something that we have to demand from ourselves.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Anderson Cooper
- “That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried. Being American is being more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “Poetry, and art in general, means showing up with your best self. And whoever that may be, that in and of itself is beautiful. The more that we can bring our authentic selves, with hope, into the moment the more that moment will show up for us.” – Amanda Gorman
- “The thing that I learned is that as much as I pull from these topics, there is always a parallel to nature in my poetry.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “I do it whenever I perform, and I definitely did it this time. I close my eyes and I say: I am the daughter of Black writers, we are descended from freedom fighters, who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Anderson Cooper
- “While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be. A country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce and free.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “Every day, we write the future… Together, we sign it… Together, we declare it… We share it… For this truth marches on… Inside each of us.” – Amanda Gorman, ‘Believer’s Hymn for the Republic’
- “The topic of sexual assault is so potent, so powerful, so painful, that if I were to stare in its eyes directly, something about me would crumble.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “Madam President Gorman. I like the sound of that.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Anderson Cooper
- “If we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “Poetry is always at the pulse of the most dangerous and the most daring questions that a nation, or a world, might face.” – Amanda Gorman
- “Sestina is a really great pathway for that because you really focus on form and less so about the horrors of feeling the pain of that trauma.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “This is a dream that I think came into existence around sixth grade, I had a math teacher who said kind of somewhat jokingly because I was a very passionate, feisty girl, as I am today.. ‘You should run for president.’” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres
- “We have to confront these realities if we’re going to move forward, so that’s also an important touchstone of the poem. There is space for grief and horror and hope and unity, and I also hope that there is a breath for joy in the poem, because I do think we have a lot to celebrate at this inauguration.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with New York Times
- “Hear me as a woman.. Have me as your sister.. On purpled battlefield breaking day, so I might say our victory is just beginning.. See me as change.. Say I am movement.. That I am the year.. And I am the era of the women.” – Amanda Gorman, ‘Won’t You Be My Sister,’
- “Thinking about the ways that people are judging me as I write about being judged, and how does that, for all of us, become a title that we kind of carry around and that we wear.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “In college my twin sister would be at like parties and people would be posting things on Snapchat or whatever. And she would say, ‘Don’t get a photo of me, my sister is running for president in 25 years from now. I can’t have an image coming up.’” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres
- “We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one…There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “Our people diverse and beautiful will emerge, battered and beautiful. When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “For me, I think that socially, we don’t encourage boys to be men, we encourage them to become monsters.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “ remember Michelle Obama being close, and she kind of kept yelling at Barack, ‘Stop hugging people, stop getting close to people,’ and then when I was done, she kind of pushed him out the way and gave me just the biggest, warmest Michelle Obama hug.” Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres
- “Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “You know, Times up, in itself, is poetic. Sure, it means time’s up on men who abuse their power, but on a broader scale, it speaks to a much longer and expansive time that dominated.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “Whenever I meet Michelle, I hope that she forgets meeting me because I just want a do-over … I just want to do it right this time, but she always remembers, and she’s always great. And when I hug her, I’m so short my forehead is, like, in her belly button.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres
- “We, the successors of a country and time 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.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be a country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “ If we stay silent, you’re not only a traitor to your gender, but a traitor to yourself and your own story. So, it’s how can women, particularly women of color, remain true to their truth and their stories, with so many impediments, literal and metaphorical speech.” – Amanda Gorman, in an interview with Najya Williams
- “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace… And the norms and notions of ‘what just is’ isn’t always ‘justice.’” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
- “If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade. But in all the bridges we’ve made, that is the promise to glade, the hill we climb.” – Amanda Gorman, reciting ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration
Amanda Gorman Video – Joe Biden/Kamala Harris 2020 Inauguration Poem
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, the Youth Poet Laureate of 2017, delivers a poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. At the age of 22, she became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history after reciting her poem “The Hill We Climb.”
Since the Inauguration, Amanda Gorman is becoming a household name, and her social media follower counts have skyrocketed. She has since been interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres and has completed many other interviews. Amanda plans on running for President of the United States in 2036, it is among her many goals she has to change the world for the better.
If you didn’t know who Amanda Gorman was before reading this, you can get a pretty good idea by reading this small portion of her background as well as these inspiring quotes she has said herself. If you are already a fan of her work, you can use these quotes to inspire others and bring more well deserved recognition and attention to the young poet that has big dreams to change the world.
Image Credit: Shawn Miller, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons