Written By: Isa Gonzalez Montilla
The youngest Inaugural poet in U.S. history, Amanda Gorman, is about to infuse the nation with more of her inspiring words this September with her two debut books, Change Sings and The Hill We Climb and Other Poems. These Penguin Random House publications will act as an empowering seed for future generations to realize they have the ability to shape the world through their voices and actions.
The 22-year-old activist works towards supporting girls’ education and empowerment at the local, national, and international level. We can see this passion for activism and girl empowerment through her upcoming first children’s book Change Sings. This lyrical illustration tells the story of a young woman who guides a variety of characters on a musical journey. On this journey, they learn that they have the power to make a difference, both grand and small, in their communities, in the world and fundamentally, in themselves. This book calls for the people to realize that each of their individual abilities are enough to make a difference on this planet.
(Amanda speaking at Inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, January 20th)
This award-winning wordsmith is launching more than just a children’s picture book. She is reaching the bookshelves of teenagers and adults with her debut poem collection, The Hill We Climb and Other Poems. This poetry compilation will include her famously known poem The Hill We Climb, which she read at the 46th President’s inauguration earlier this month.
This book focuses on the ideas of hope and healing and is expected to be an extraordinary new voice in American poetry. As Gorman said in a New York Times article, “we have to confront these realities if we're going to move forward, so that's also an important touchstone of the poem.” Although she is specifically talking about her inaugural composition, it's fair to say that these efforts will be seen throughout the book itself.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Gorman has been writing ever since she could remember. In third grade, Gorman became fixated with Ray Bradbury’s poem “Dandelion Wine” which inspirited her enthusiasm to journal every single day. Gorman is well-known for writing about race, feminism, and the struggle for Civil Rights. In 2014, she was named the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and then later became the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States.
(Photo by, Stephanie Mitchell | Harvard University)
Each book has its own special way of impacting its prospective readers. Change Sings aims to instill hope, resilience, and community into little ones minds and hearts so that they can strive to make the world a better place. The Hill We Climb and Other Poems will be an eye-opening and revolutionary experience for readers. This poem collection will force us to come to terms with the harsh truth, that our country has been divided by hate and partisan politics. This book will shine a light of optimism and provide readers with restorative qualities we can all partake to one day stand as Americans united.