This morning I caught the NPR story of Amanda Gorman, 22, who will “become the youngest poet in recent memory to deliver a poem at a presidential inauguration.” Even more remarkable (to me), Gorman has had challenges since childhood with a speech impediment that affects her ability to say certain letters. So much so that she would find different words to use—words she could pronounce without difficulty—in her poems. Since then, she has performed her poetry at esteemed places like the Library of Congress and curious venues like the Empire State Building’s observation deck.
Tomorrow, Amanda will perform her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” written specifically for the inauguration. In her earlier years, she has held the title of Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and became the first National Youth Poet Laureate. We’ll be in good hands and in the presence of remarkable talent.
If you want a preview of what we’re in for, take five minutes and read In This Place (An American Lyric), written and performed by Amanda at the Library of Congress.➵