Amanda Gorman Graces the Fall Women’s Fashion Cover of the Wall Street Journal
The poem she wrote for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, “The Hill We Climb,” wasn’t just the one that stuck; it instantly made Gorman into a cultural, political phenomenon. The final three lines alone served as an exhortation for a traumatized nation: “For there is always light / if only we’re brave enough to see it / if only we’re brave enough to be it.”It was First Lady Jill Biden who recommended Gorman to be the inaugural poet. Biden had seen Gorman read at the Library of Congress in 2017, when the then 19-year-old had just become the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. In late December, when the inaugural committee invited Gorman to give the reading, she knew the moment would require a level of depth and clarity. President Biden was taking office after a drawn-out vote tabulation, and for the first time, a Black woman, Kamala Harris, would become vice president.
Amanda believes in the political power of verse, and she’s leaning into her literary talents: “I don’t have to change who I am to be a leader.”
This story appears in Fall 2021 Women’s Fashion issue of WSJ Magazine.