Joe Biden’s inauguration was a deeply poetic moment for America, thanks in part to a powerful reading by Amanda Gorman, the first-ever U.S. youth poet laureate.
To close out Biden’s inaugural ceremony, Gorman — a 22-year-old poet and Los Angeles native — read an original piece titled, “The Hill We Climb.”
Famous poets including Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Alexander, and Richard Blanco have read at past inaugurations, but Gorman made history on Wednesday as America’s youngest inaugural poet after being handpicked to read by first lady Jill Biden, who’s a fan of her work. Like President Biden, Gorman also has a speech impediment, but the two don’t let those obstacles stop them from speaking in public.
The 22-year-old, who’s known for performing stunning, impactful poems about social change, delivered an incredible reading in front of Biden, Harris, and the inaugural crowd in D.C., but her words touched and resonated with so many Americans watching around the country.
“We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one … There is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it,” Gorman said.
You can watch her entire inaugural reading above and preorder her book The Hill We Climb: Poems, which includes the poem read at the inauguration.