Written By: Emma Collins
Amanda Gorman, the 23-year old poet who stirred America after reciting her powerful piece at President Biden’s presidential inauguration, will release a new book on December 7th. Viking Books, the American company owned by Penguin Random House, will be publishing Gorman’s upcoming poetry collection titled Call Us What We Carry.
The 80-page book of poetry, formerly known under the placeholder name The Hill We Climb and Other Poems after Gorman’s inaugural poem, will still include the famous piece. According to the publisher, the new collection will also contain poems that explore “themes of identity, grief, and memory.” Penguin Random House Audio will concurrently publish an audiobook edition, which will be narrated by Gorman.
Speaking about her poetry book, Gorman explained, “I wrote Call Us What We Carry as a lyric of hope and healing. I wanted to pen a reckoning with the communal grief wrought by the pandemic. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever written, but I knew it had to be. For me, this book is a receptacle, a time capsule both made by and for its era. What is poetry if not a mirror for our present and a message for our future?”
(Photo of Gorman's new book on sale December 7th)
Tamar Brazis, editorial director of Viking Children’s Books and Gorman’s editor, praised the young poet and said, “Amanda Gorman is one of the most exciting voices in American poetry. Even when her poems are tackling themes of conflict and adversity, her message of hope always shines through.”
In 2017, Gorman was appointed as America’s First Youth Poet Laureate. Aside from that impressive feat, Gorman also became the youngest inaugural poet. She captured the world’s attention with her delivery of “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021.
The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country, a commemorative edition of her famous piece, debuted as #1 on the New York Times adult fiction after being published on March 30. The success was not something she expected.
(Get Your Copy of Gorman's First Book "The Hill We Climb" Today)
In an interview for Los Angeles Times, Gorman told poet Tracy K. Smith, “When I wrote it, I did not know if it would be possible to recite it at the inauguration. I was watching the insurrection, and in my head, I didn’t even know if there would be an inauguration. And so it was writing an inaugural poem that I would want to hear, and that’s kind of the way that I inversely think about poetry. It’s not necessarily something that I’m saying. It’s something that I’m listening to.”
The release of Gorman’s new collection will follow after Viking Books for Young Readers publishes her first children’s picture book, Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, on September 21.
(Pre-order a copy of Change Sings Today)