Picture of Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman at Hostos

National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman made an indelible impression on all who attended – or watched from afar – President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s inauguration on January 20. Like so many others, I was captivated by this remarkable young woman who read her poem “The Hill We Climb” with such grace and power.
Hostos has been aware of Ms. Gorman’s unique talents since March 2018, when she participated in one of the Women’s History Month events during the College’s 50th Anniversary year. It was clear to all who heard her read from her work that she was a talent to be reckoned with. Time has only borne out the truth of that observation.
Who is this poet who so beautifully captured the historical moment?
Author and activist Amanda Gorman was born and raised in Los Angeles, where her mother teaches middle school. At 16 she served as a youth delegate for the United Nations. According to The New York Times, “At 22, Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet ever in the United States. She joins a small group of poets who have been recruited to help mark a presidential inauguration, among them Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Miller Williams, Elizabeth Alexander and Richard Blanco.”
After four years of an administration which pointedly ignored the Arts, it was refreshing to see poetry return to the nation’s Capital. And not only refreshing – but crucial to the way in which the leaders and the citizens of this country view themselves and the world. “Now more than ever, the United States needs an inaugural poem,” Gorman recently told the Times. “Poetry is typically the touchstone that we go back to when we have to remind ourselves of the history that we stand on, and the future that we stand for.”
The future – for Ms. Gorman and the United States of America – looks bright.
Mil gracias y bendiciones,
Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.
Interim President