Meet Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old US Poet laureate who shined at the inauguration

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Amanda Gorman during her recital at the inauguration earlier this week.
Amanda Gorman during her recital at the inauguration earlier this week.
Getty Images/Patrick Semansky-Pool

"There is always a light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it."

Those are the words of 22-year old Amanda Gorman, the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration.

The laureate, who was hand-selected by First Lady Jill Biden, recited "The Hill We Climb" during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the United States of America’s 46th president. 

Her performance moved audiences across the world and they haven't stopped singing her praises after her big moment. 

She was praised by Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and so many others who hailed her performance as an ode to America's future. 

Read more | The hidden meaning behind the yellow coat 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman wore at Biden's inauguration

Hailing from Los Angeles, Amanda first made history when she became the inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.

She was honoured by the UrbanWorld and Library of Congress for 'turning her childhood, intersectionality and politics into moving feminist poetry'

The poet also once served as a United Nations youth delegate in New York City. 

"Being a poet and an activist are interwoven identities for me. I write to advocate; I advocate to give myself purpose and meaning for writing," she told Study Breaks.

Speaking to CNN host Anderson Cooper shortly after the inauguration, Amanda shared that she had grown up with a speech impediment and struggled with the letter R and used the Hamilton song Aaron Burr, Sir to overcome it.

“I’m proud to be in the speech-difficulty club with you (Anderson Cooper) and President Biden and also Maya Angelou,” Amanda said.

“That’s been a huge part of my speech pathology. It’s why I included it in the inaugural poem.” 

Speaking to CBS, she shared that this impediment is what led to her love and passion for poetry. 

“I couldn’t use my voice, then I would author my voice on the page. So it’s really been a godsend and a lifeline for me".

Read more | ‘When We Gather’: A film honouring Kamala Harris as the first black woman to be America’s vice president

Shortly after her stellar performance, her poetry books shot up to the top of the charts.

She took to Twitter to share her gratitude. 

"I am on the floor. My books are #1 and #2 on Amazon after 1 day!," she wrote. 

The author has also landed another book deal with Penguin Children. The publisher announced that it would be releasing Amanda's inaugural poem as a hardcover book in spring, with plans to print 150,000 copies in the first run due to an "overwhelming demand". This is a first for a poetry collection. 

Amanda has also shared that she has her eyes set on running for presidency in the United States one day.

Watch her recital of 'The Hill We Climb' below: 

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