22-Year-Old Amanda Gorman Makes History as the Youngest Poet to Read at an Inauguration

The poet declared, “We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.”

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January 20, 2021 2 min read

History was made on Wednesday, January 20 by Amanda Gorman when she became the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration.

The 22-year-old Gormanread her own poem, titled “The Hill We Climb,” at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

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The Los Angeles native told NPR she finished writing it on the night of Jan. 6, just hours after rioters swarmed Capitol Hill.

Gorman opened her poem Wednesday by saying, “We braved the belly of the beast.”

The poem continues: “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is hours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.”

Gorman’s poem touched millions who heard it, earning social media accolades from the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.

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