Poetry United States

US poet Amanda Gorman dazzles at President Joe Biden inauguration.

US poet Amanda Gorman dazzled with the poem The Hill We Climb at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.

There was excitement in the United States as the new president, Joe Biden, replaced Donald Trump on Wednesday, January 20. The usual pomp you would expect from this ceremony which happens every four years was not to be as the North American country is reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scene of the inauguration, The Capitol, was also attacked on January 6 under the incitement by the immediate former president. This meant that this was one of the most closely guarded events in recent history.

People who were watching on TV and on the Internet were treated to performances from Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Garth Brooks. There was also a speech from their new leader which called for unity and other things that you would expect from someone who won an election and needed to assure his citizens watching their world would move on.

There was a scene-stealer in this ceremony (apart from Senator Bernie Sanders who was photographed sitting alone in colourful mittens that quickly went viral as memes) called Amanda Gorman. Gorman read the poem The Hill We Climb where she called on Americans to “leave behind a country better than the one we were left” and unify together. Amanda Gorman is the writer of The Hill We Climb: Poems, and Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem. Watch the poem she recited below;


Here is a bit of information about the poet from the Penguin Random House website who are here publishers;

Amanda Gorman is the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. She is a committed activist who works on the local, national, and international levels to support girls’ education and empowerment. Amanda’s activism and poetry have been featured on the Today Show, PBS Kids, and CBS This Morning, and in The New York Times, Vogue, Essence, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She is also the author of the forthcoming picture book Change Sings illustrated by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long. After graduating from Harvard University, she now lives in Los Angeles.

The poet shared the following information on her Twitter yesterday evening after her performance (which made us smile);

“I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY! Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: “For words alone are certain good: Sing, then,” she wrote on Twitter Wednesday evening.

The titles are currently topping both Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s best sellers lists.

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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