If you have steered clear of news and social media for the last 48 hours, then you may not know the name Amanda Gorman. The 22-year-old gracefully read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, January 20, and she is fast becoming a star. With the eyes of the world on her, Gorman became the youngest ever inaugural poet in U.S. history, on top of being the first National Youth Poet Laureate.
After her acclaimed reading, many of Gorman’s new fans are wondering how they can support the young poet and read more of her works. Gorman only recently wrote “The Hill We Climb,” and it has not previously been published. The New York Times reports that Gorman only finished the poem recently, just after the insurrection at the U.S. capitol. For those who want to support Gorman, Penguin Random House will publish “The Hill We Climb” in a special edition book set to be released on April 27, 2021.
The Hill We Climb Special Edition
Amanda Gorman Captures the World’s Attention
There were plenty of historical moments at the inauguration — Kamala Harris became the first woman and first Black and South Asian person to be sworn into the VP’s office, and she was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court justice. President Biden officially became the 46th president of the United States.
Yes, Lady Gaga and her gold mic blew us away with her rendition of the national anthem. And, yes, we all got loud as we sang along with Jennifer Lopez during her performance of “This Land is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful.”
But it was the words of the perfectly poised Gorman, who donned a yellow Prada coat as bright as her future, that truly captivated us. Not only did Gorman manage to upstage Lady Gaga, but she instantly became a worldwide sensation and famous poet (and it’s not easy to become a famous poet).
“The Hill We Climb” reads in part:
When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast,
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
and the norms and notions
of what just is
isn’t always just-ice.
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
One would never know from her flawless delivery that Gorman, who challenged us to “leave behind a country better than the one we were left,” was once afraid of performing. In fact, up until a few years ago, she struggled with a speech impediment. The award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University had trouble pronouncing the letter “R.” However, just like President Biden, she overcame her speech impediment, becoming the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.
Gorman has three upcoming books from Penguin Random House that will be published this year, and according to CNN, two are currently best sellers even though they won’t be released until September 2021.
Gorman, who grew up in Los Angeles and was raised by a single mom and sixth-grader teacher, joins A Promised Land, former President Barack Obama’s memoir, on Amazon’s list.
On Wednesday evening Gorman wrote on Twitter:
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"
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) January 20, 2021
Where To Buy Amanda Gorman’s Books
Already, The Hill We Climb: Poems, a book that will include her inaugural poem and other works, is topping best-sellers lists at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. This will be the debut poetry collection by Gorman, but it isn’t set to be released until September 21, 2021.
Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem is another upcoming book from Gorman, and it’s also become a best-seller at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The children’s book will feature poetry by Gorman and #1 New York Times best-selling illustrator Loren Long. Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem will also be released on September 21, 2021.