Poet Amanda Gorman shares advice she received from Nancy Pelosi

KATIE KINDELAN
·3 min read

Amanda Gorman made history as the youngest inaugural poet ever.

Now Gorman, who recently turned 23, has turned her inaugural poem, "The Hill We Climb," into a special edition book that she hopes will inspire people and make poetry more accessible to the masses.

"I keep running my hands over it to remind myself that it’s real," Gorman said Monday on "Good Morning America" about her book. "It’s been such a huge dream of mine to be published and to have this type of work to be available to people. It’s just really amazing."

VIDEO:  (ABCNews.com)
VIDEO: (ABCNews.com)

Gorman said she finished her poem for President Joe Biden's inauguration on the night of Jan. 6, hours after rioters stormed the Capitol. It has earned praise from the likes of former first ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

"We've learned that quiet isn't always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn't always justice. And yet the dawn is hours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished," she said in the poem. "We, the successors of a country and a time, where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one."

PHOTO: Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Rob Carr/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Rob Carr/Getty Images, FILE)

The Harvard graduate and Los Angeles native followed up her inauguration debut by performing the first-ever poem at the Super Bowl. Delivered just before Super Bowl LV kickoff, Gorman's original poem honored three front-line workers who have served during the coronavirus pandemic.

MORE: 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman on her inauguration invite: I was 'honestly shocked'

"To bring poetry to the Super Bowl for the first time in history I think is a really important moment," said Gorman.

Of the everyday heroes she wrote about, Gorman added, "I just want to continue to write work that speaks to that kind of human heroism."

PHOTO: Amanda Gorman's poem 'The Hill We Climb,' read at President Joe Biden's inauguration, is now available as a book. (Viking Books via Sun Literary Arts)
PHOTO: Amanda Gorman's poem 'The Hill We Climb,' read at President Joe Biden's inauguration, is now available as a book. (Viking Books via Sun Literary Arts)

Although Gorman has been catapulted onto the global stage, she said she has learned that the size of the stage she is performing on matters less than the people she is reaching.

"For example, to me, it’s just as important to speak at inauguration as it is still for me to see these moments where young students are in their classroom reading the poem, or you have parents reciting it to their family," she said. "I think I’ve learned most for me that even as my microphone grows, I’m still so tied to the smaller places that my poetry gets shared in, and I’m learning that’s something that will never change for me."

MORE: At Super Bowl, Amanda Gorman delivers poem honoring COVID-19 heroes

Gorman's poems have particularly reached younger people, some of whom have dressed as Gorman on Inauguration Day.

"[I'm] thinking about the fact that hopefully I can be the entry point and not the exit in these young students’ lives, so using me as a beginning into kind of their exploration into literature, but in no ways the end," she said of the photos shared on social media. "So I’m excited to see what these adorable youngsters continue to create and how they continue to grow and even one day surpass me."

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Gorman has said she wants to run for president herself as early as 2036. Following the inauguration, Gorman said she spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who shared advice for her as a female leader.

"She said to me, ‘Amanda, this is what I tell all female leaders who ask for my advice. I say, ‘Start with a feather, even if you end up using a hammer,'" Gorman recalled.

Gorman's new book, "The Hill We Climb and Other Poems," is available everywhere books are sold beginning Tuesday.

Poet Amanda Gorman shares advice she received from Nancy Pelosi originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com