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!
Amanda Gorman, 18, is the first ever Youth poet Laureate of the United States. She is a poet, community leader, and commissioned speaker and a Harvard freshman. In her previous roles as the Inaugural Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate and Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the West, she visited the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama's poetry celebration, toured Los Angeles, read for the mayor, worked with the LA Commission on Human Relations to brainstorm youth programs, spoke at the Kennedy Center, and published a collection of poetry, ‘The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough’. An award-winning writer, she is founder and Executive Director of One Pen One Page, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy and leadership through creative writing workshops. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the OPOP online literary magazine, which elevates the voices and powers of youth through literal and visual storytelling . OPOP now has partnerships in Afghanistan and across the U.S.
She has served as a United Nations Youth Delegate in New York City, where she worked with UN representatives, activists, and non-governmental organization to propose solutions for equality, hunger, poverty, water, sustainability, and human rights. She has been an ANNpower Fellow in Washington, D.C and a ANNpower Global Delegate in London at the TrustWomen Conference. She appeared on The Today Show for her work supporting the Bring Back Our Girls movement, spoke at the British Consulate for A World at School, worked with 72andSunny Productions to pitch a girls’ education commercial to Starbucks, and is currently organizing a poetry contest that will feature Malala. She is a teen editor and Ambassador for School of Doodle (schoolofdoodle.com), an innovative online high school. She provides a constant stream of content, helps develop their poetry curriculum, manage their Diversity Committee, and build their other financial and creative educational programs. In 2015 she served as Director of the youth-led organization "Art You" Poetry Initiatives.
She was awarded an Outstanding Community Service Award by the city of Los Angeles and a Certificate of Recognition for her leadership by the California State Assembly. She has appeared Nickelodeon and ABC Family for her activism, and has been featured in The Argonaut and Cultural Weekly. She has been commissioned to write for the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Grand Park Festival of Books, the PAWs organization, Live Talks LA, and more. Her work is in the award-winning WriteGirl anthologies 'You Are Here' and 'Emotional Map of Los Angeles', The Huffington Post, HelloGiggles, Lament for the Dead, and mariashriver.com. Currently she is studying political sociology and creative writing at Harvard University.