As we delve into Black History Month, there are too many exceptional Black poets to even touch the tip of the iceberg in 28 days. Today, therefore, we have a midweek poetry bonus. It's been hard to ignore the voice of 22-year-old Amanda Gorman since the Youth Poet Laureate performed her poem "The Hill We Climb" at President Biden's inauguration. That exposure (and the poem's sheer power) may have brought Gorman to heightened national attention, but she has been writing and performing for years with a grace, eloquence, and strength that are truly inspiring. Gorman's collection of poetry, The Hill We Climb, and a picture book version of her poem "Change Sings," illustrated by Loren Long, will be published in the fall, and I hope to see them in libraries across the country (and the world). In the meantime, lose yourself in Gorman's language and sheer oomph with these poetry readings and Ted Talk.
First up: Amanda Gorman performs "The Hill We Climb" at President Biden's inauguration ceremony:
Next up: Amanda Gorman performs "Roar" at the Moth GrandSLAM in 2017:
And to conclude, the poet's powerful Ted Talk: