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Gorman gained instant fame after she performed her poem 'The Hill We Climb' at the inauguration but tells Vogue she started her career on more humble stages

Keydra Manns
April 7, 2021
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Amanda Gorman continues to shine.

The young poet graces the May issue of Vogue and is the first poet ever to do so. The issue was released on Wednesday and Gorman dished on everything from how she got her start as a poet to how she is deciding what projects she will work on.

“Honored to be the first poet EVER on the cover of @voguemagazine , & what a joy to do so while wearing a Black designer, @virgilabloh. This is called the Rise of Amanda Gorman, but it’s truly for all of you, both named & unseen, who lift me up. Love, Amanda,” wrote Gorman to her Twitter page in regards to the Vogue cover announcement.

Honored to be the first poet EVER on the cover of @voguemagazine , & what a joy to do so while wearing a Black designer, @virgilabloh . This is called the Rise of Amanda Gorman, but it's truly for all of you, both named & unseen, who lift me up 🕊🦋
Love,
Amanda https://t.co/PFkEzv1kta

— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) April 7, 2021

Gorman gained instant fame after she performed her poem The Hill We Climb at the inauguration but told Vogue she started her career on more humble stages. Some of her early performances were at The Moth, WriteGirl,  Urban Word, and conferences like TED Talk. At The Moth performance, she retold the story of when she auditioned for Broadway’s The Lion King.

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“My mom had to give me a quarter so I’d sleep past 5 a.m.,” she told the magazine. She added she applied for L.A. Youth Poet Laureate at 16. “I was like, ‘Well, I guess, I’m a poet.’ ” 

The young star is also a fan of clothing. Fans gushed over the yellow Prada coat she wore at the inauguration. But Gorman said despite what she wears, her job is not to endorse brands.

“I’m not a BRAND AMBASSADOR or anything!” said Gorman who recently signed to work with modeling agency IMG Models.

“When I’m part of a campaign..the entity isn’t my body, It’s my voice.” In regards to projects she will agree to work on she said, “I have to be conscious of taking commissions that speak to me.”

Amanda Gorman thegrio.com
Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks during the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today’s inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

She told the magazine that despite all of her mega success she tries not to be to hard on herself.

“I’m trying not to judge myself,” she said. “When you’re someone who’s lived a life where certain resources were scarce, you always feel like abundance is forbidden fruit.”

In a recent conversation with Oprah Winfrey, she revealed her greatest strength. The poet laureate  sat down with Winfrey to discuss how her disability has made her journey far from easy, per People.

“I was born early, along with my twin, and a lot of times, for infants, that can lead to learning delays,” said Gorman during an episode of Winfrey’s Apple TV+. show The Oprah Conversation.

“One of my delays was in speech and speech pronunciation, and also the auditory processing issue just means I really struggle as an auditory learner.”

Amanda Gorman thegrio.com
(Photo: Amanda Gorman Instagram)

Winfrey gifted Gorman with the caged bird-shaped ring and a pair of earrings she wore to the inauguration.

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“Amanda Gorman is a young woman who stepped into a moment in history with enormous grace and dignity,” said Winfrey in a statement. “I was enthralled by her youthful spirit from the first moment we met, and very much looked forward to hearing her unpack all that has happened to her the past few months.”

Gorman was diagnosed with a speech impediment and auditory processing disorder as a child. She says she struggled with pronouncing “sh”and “r.”

“Specifically ‘r’ because it is one of the most complex letters in the English alphabet,” she confessed. “That was something that I would struggle with until probably 20 years of age.”

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