Profile: Amanda Gorman (1998-)

Amanda Gorman 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 is the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. She published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015.

Biography

Amanda Gorman is a Los Angeles native who was raised by her mother, a teacher named Joan Wicks, with her two siblings. Gorman has a twin sister named Gabrielle who is an activist. Gorman has said she grew up in an environment with limited television access. She had a speech impediment when she was young. 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 said she was inspired to become a youth delegate for the United Nations in 2013 after watching a speech by Pakistani Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. Gorman was chosen as the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014. Gorman published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015.

Gorman was a student at Harvard University when she became the first person to be named national youth poet laureate in April 2017. She was chosen from five finalists.

In 2017, Gorman said she wants to run for president in 2036.

Her art and activism focus on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora.

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