American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 20, 2021. Photograph:( AFP )
On Wednesday, Amanda Gorman made history by becoming the youngest inaugural poet in the history of the United States
On Wednesday, Amanda Gorman made history by becoming the youngest inaugural poet in the history of the United States.
She performed at the 59th Presidential Inauguration, delivering her original composition "The Hill We Climb" at the Capitol. In attendance were US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
In conversation with CBS, Gorman called the feat "amazing", further adding that at 22, nobody gets to say that they're the inaugural poet.
Her inspiration behind the poem? Abraham Lincoln and Dr Martin Luther King Jr's speeches, she claimed. But the recent riots at the US Capitol inspired her to pick up the poem.
She told CBS that her poem "came to life" in the aftermath of the riots at the Capitol, which left six people dead - including a police officer.
At the age of 19, Gorman was named the US' First Youth Poet Laureate. At the age of 16, Gorman was Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles.
Due to a speech impediment, Gorman couldn't put her voice to work, which inspired her to "author her voice on the page".
She further referred to poetry as a weapon, calling it an "instrument of social change".
But this is not it! Gorman has bigger plans - she intends to run as US President in 2036.
This was not the only first at the inauguration ceremony. Kamala Harris on Wednesday became the first woman Vice President of the United States, during a ceremony which took place at the West Front of the Capitol. 56-year-old Harris is the country's 49th Vice President and will serve as the deputy of 46th American President - Joe Biden.