US POLITICS: Amanda Gorman books top bestselling lists after soul-stirring inaugural poem – The Guardian

Two upcoming books on Amazon’s bestseller list within hours after the resounding delivery of her poem at the swearing-in

Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman speaks during the inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman speaks during the inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

from Washington @LiveFromKenya – Fri 22 Jan 2021 19.09 GMT

Within hours of Wednesday’s delivery, her soul-stirring reading of The Hill We Climb, at the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had landed the 22-year-old’s two upcoming books at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.

“I am on the floor. My books are number 1 and number 2 on Amazon after day 1,” the Los Angeles native wrote on Twitter.

Gorman, who described herself as a book worm as a child, overcame a speech impediment in her youth to become the first US national youth poet laureate in 2017.

She has now joined the ranks of inaugural poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

With the honor of being the youngest poet in US history to mark the transition of presidential power, the Harvard University graduate’s poetry collection, also titled The Hill We Climb, , debuted at the top of the online retailer’s sales charts.

Her upcoming project geared to youth, titled Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, followed closely behind. Both books are due out in September.

According to the New York Times, Gorman said she had been struggling to write the inaugural poem. But then came the 6 January assault on the US Capitol, compelling her to stay up all night to finish it, this time certain of what she wanted to say.

“Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,” Gorman read as her yellow coat beamed from the steps of the US Capitol, just two weeks after the attempted insurrection and following a year of global protests for racial justice.

Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman reads The Hill We Climb at Biden inauguration – video

The performance stirred instant acclaim, with praise from across the country and political spectrum including the Republican-backed Lincoln Project and the former president, Barack Obama.

“Wasn’t [Gorman’s] poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait,” tweeted Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate.

AprilDRyan @AprilDRyan
I can’t help but think that Maya Angelou is looking down from Heaven proud at the #BlackGirlMagic that is Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. Amanda’s #InaugurationDay poem “The Hill We Climb” was beautiful and wonderfully delivered. #AmandaGorman #Inauguration2021
SOCIAL MEDIA BOOMED

The poet’s social media also boomed, surging from her initial tens of thousands to well over a million in new followers to her Twitter fanbase.

By Wednesday night, an audibly stunned Anderson Cooper echoed the public’s admiration on his show, revealing he was “transfixed” by the young poet’s words.

A humble Gorman took the praise in stride, however, thanking followers while sharing her mantra she said not only motivates her before performances, but also spoke to the significance of the historic inauguration.

“I’m the daughter of Black writers,” Gorman said. “We’re descended from freedom fighters who broke through chains and change the world.

“They call me.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 01/23/2021 at 2:11 pm

    Our youth can show us the way forward…if we let them.

  • brandli62  On 01/25/2021 at 3:27 am

    One of the most moving poetry performances I have seen in my life! Brilliant in its conception and execution. America’s strength is its diversity and the ability to nurture young talent over and over again. Even though its democracy is not perfect, it remains a source of hope and freedom. Let’s be inspired to build and protect the democracies of our countries of residence, whether this is in Guyana or any other country thriving for personal freedom, equality, justice and rule of law.

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