Amanda Gorman (born March 7, 1998) is an American poet and activist from Los Angeles, California. Gorman’s work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora.
Gorman published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. In 2017, Gorman became the United States of America’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. She became the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration, reciting her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of Joe Biden in January 2021.
Gorman is a Los Angeles native who was raised by her mother, a teacher named Joan Wicks, with her two siblings. She has a twin sister, Gabrielle, who is an activist. Gorman has said she grew up in an environment with limited television access. She had a speech impediment as a child. She has described her young self as a “weird child” who enjoyed reading and writing and was encouraged by her mother. Gorman has said she has an auditory processing disorder and is hypersensitive to sound.
Gorman attended New Roads School, a private school in Santa Monica, for grades K-12, and studied sociology at Harvard College. While at Harvard, she became the first person to be named national youth poet laureate in April 2017, a national program managed by Urban Word NYC in conjunction with the Library of Congress. She was chosen from five finalists.