Miss Amanda Gorman makes a name for herself beyond poetry


Dylan Drury '22

Miss Gorman recited her poetry at both the presidential inauguration and Super Bowl LV in 2021.

Miss Amanda Gorman, poet, writer, and model, is furthering her success beyond the poetry world after her national debuts at the 56th presidential inauguration January 20 and the Super Bowl LV pre-show February 7.  Miss Gorman recently signed with the International Management Group (IMG) Models, where she will participate in fashion and beauty endorsements.  Along with the honors she has already received, Miss Gorman is among the 2021 members of the Time100 Next list. 

Miss Gorman graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 2020, where she received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Sociology.  Poetry has given Miss Gorman many gifts, including helping her work on her speech impediment, according to 11alive.comIn 2017, Miss Gorman received the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate award at only 19 years old, and since then, she has been best known for her poetry.

At President Joseph R. Biden’s inauguration, Miss Gorman recited an original poem, titled “The Hill We Climb.”  She was the youngest poet to perform at an American president’s inaugural.  Miss Gorman will be releasing a book titled “The Hill We Climb” March 30 that features her historic poem and includes a foreword from Mrs. Oprah Winfrey.  Before its release, her book already sits at number one for Best Sellers in Black & African American Poetry on Amazon

Miss Gorman was on the cover of Time Magazine following her interview with Mrs. Michelle Obama.  Courtesy of time.com

Since birth, Miss Gorman has resided in Los Angeles, California with her mother Ms. Joan Wicks and her twin sister Miss Gabrielle Gorman, who is an accomplished filmmaker, according to bet.com

Miss Gorman recited an original poem titled “Chorus of the Captains” at Super Bowl LV February 7, making her the first ever poet to ever perform at a Super Bowl.  Miss Gorman’s poem honored the three heroes that the National Football League (NFL) selected for “their tremendous impact during an unprecedented year,” according to The Washington Post.  The three honorees include Mr. Trimaine Davis, an educator who has provided hotspots, laptops, and technology workshops to students in Los Angeles, CA, Ms. Suzie Dorner, Intensive Care Unit Nurse Manager at Tampa General Hospital, and Mr. James Martin, a veteran from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who does an abundance of charity work with the Wounded Warrior Project. 

The poem spoke to how although there have been many tragedies in the United States in the past year, hope is achievable.  While the country was in turmoil, her poetry calmed viewers.

“Even in tragedy, hope is possible,” Miss Gorman said.  “Let us walk with these warriors, charge on with these champions, and carry forth the call of our captains.  We celebrate them by acting with courage and compassion by doing what is right and just.”

Sophomore Gabrielle Wheeler received a Gold Key from the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her poem titled “Spelling is Fun Until it E-N-D-S.”  Miss Gorman has taught Gabrielle how she can apply poetry to any given situation and that she does not need to feel confined when expressing her poetic abilities.

“Amanda Gorman has shown me that poetry is relevant in any situation as well as that we don’t need to try to fit poetry into society,” Gabrielle said.  “Poetry can instead be used as a method of enacting change and of empowerment.  Personally, I use poetry as a form of healing and personal expression.  Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’ emphasized union and recovery.”

The three honorees in Miss Gorman’s poem titled “Chorus of the Captains” were Mr. Trimaine Davis, Ms. Suzie Dorner, and Mr. James Martin.  Courtesy of Mr. Kevin C. Cox

After participating in an interview with former First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama, Time Magazine featured Miss Gorman on the front cover of its magazine.  Subsequenty, Time added her to its Time100 Next list, an annual list that serves as an extension to the Time100 list.  It aims to highlight “the 100 individuals who are shaping the future of their fields and defining the next generation of leadership in business, entertainment, health and science, sports, activism, and more,” according to usatoday.com.  This feature marks yet another of Miss Gorman’s many accolades since her national debut as a poet sensation.

Miss Gorman will gain editorial opportunities in the fashion and beauty sectors from her signing with IMG Models.  Miss Gorman believes that fashion is her own way of leaning on the history that has come before her as well as the people supporting her, according to CNN.

Gabrielle feels that since Miss Gorman is multifaceted, she is able to not only inspire fellow poets, but also all young people around the globe.

“As she is not only a poet, but also a scholar, activist, and model, I think she inspires us to not be limited by society and to do what we dream of doing,” Gabrielle said.

Featured Image by Dylan Drury ’22