Poet. Activist. Change-Maker
Congrats to first ever Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman!
Juan Felipe Herrera, United States Poet Laureate
Amanda Gorman is wise beyond her years. Her poetry draws on deep ideas, images, stories and concerns. She exudes confidence in her voice, her presentation and in the social issues she considers paramount. Her presence represents the best of our youth. I’m honored to be L.A. poet laureate while Amanda Gorman has been youth poet laureate.
Luis Rodriquez, LA Poet Laureate
Amanda looks at the world with fresh eyes. Her optimism and commitment to making the world a better place is radiant and evident. For lack of a better word, she’s just a magical kid.
Michael Cirelli, executive director of Urban Word LA
Amanda Gorman isn’t your typical 17-year-old. [She] writes her own ticket to success. This girl is on fire!
At 20-years-old, Harvard junior Amanda Gorman is called "the next great figure of poetry in the U.S." In 2017 she made history by becoming the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America. In this role she has spoken at the Library of Congress, the United Nations x Mashable Social Good Summit, WE Day, and venues across the country. As a native from Los Angeles, prior to her national position she served as the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of L.A. and later the West. In these capacities she met Michelle Obama at the White House, conducted a library tour, and published The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough. She is Founder and Executive Director of One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy through free creative writing programming for underserved youth. She has been a HERlead Fellow in Washington, D.C, and London, and a UN Youth Delegate in NYC. She’s performed alongside Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, and Lin-Manuel Miranda to advocate for youth leadership and arts education, and spoken alongside Al Gore and Secretary Hillary Clinton for environmentalism and women's rights. Featured in The New York Times, The Today Show, MTV, Teen Vogue, Seventeen Magazine, TIDAL, Essence's Woke 100 list, Time for Kids, Yahoo Style, the Google Assistant, and more, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Glamour Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, and Elle UK. A model on the side, she's been a face in two national campaigns for Eileen Fisher and Helmut Lang. She is a recipient of the Making a Difference Award from Black Girls Rock and BET, recognition from the Scholastic Inc. and YoungArts, a Genius Grant from OZY Media, and a College Women of the Year Award from Glamour Magazine. This fall she was selected from a competitive 20,000+ applicant pool to be one of the newest contributors to the New York Times newsletter The Edit, tailored to college students and recent graduates. Currently a Harvard junior in the top of her class, she studies Sociology and Spanish. She is running for president in 2036