Amanda Gorman, who won the hearts of so many people the world over as she performed her poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, was back in the spotlight again yesterday when she read a poem before one of the greatest shows in sport – the NFL Super Bowl IV game in Tampa, Florida.
Gorman, who is only 22, read a poem before the game honoring three ‘community heroes’ who served as honorary captains during the pre-game coin toss.
Gorman’s poem told the stories of these three community heroes who are: Los Angeles educator Trimaine Davis, the COVID intensive care unit nurse manager at Tampa General Hospital Suzie Dornier, and a Marine Corps veteran from Pittsburgh called James Martin.
As she recited her poem, Gorman spoke of how these people will be recognised for their “dedication and selfless commitment to helping others” during this “unprecedented year.”
Gorman’s said: “Today we honour our three captains for their actions and impact in a time of uncertainty and need. They’ve taken the need, exceeding all expectations and limitations, uplifting their communities and neighbors, healers and educators.
“James has felt the wounds of warfare but this warrior still shares his home with at-risk kids. During COVID, he has even lent a hand, live-streaming football for fans and family.
“Tremaine is an educator who works non-stop, providing his community with hotspots, laptops and tent workshops so his students have all the tools they need to succeed in life and in schools.
“Suzie is the ICU nurse manager at a Tampa hospital. Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible. She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic and fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone, defining the frontline heroes risking their lives for our own.”
Gorman made Super Bowl history as the first poet to perform for a game but she’s used to being the “first” so achieve something by now. While she was studying at Harvard, Gorman became the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate in April 2017.
Then later in 2017, Gorman said she intends to run for president in 2036 and she has subsequently repeated this quite often. She then recited her original poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20 making her the first person to recite a poem at an inauguration.
She received a standing ovation at the inauguration and has now become a star. She’s appeared on late-night and daytime television, signed with IMG Models and right now she’s on the cover of Time magazine – having been interviewed by Michelle Obama for the feature. As well, Gorman’s three books have now become top sellers.
Oprah Winfrey said in a tweet: “I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering – and so am I.”
Gorman turned to writing at an early age in an attempt to cope with her speech impediment. At age 14, she joined WriteGirl, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organisation which helps teenage girls discover the power of their voice through creative writing.
Throughout her high school years at New Roads School in Santa Monica, Gorman attended WriteGirl’s monthly creative writing workshops and was matched with writing mentors for one-on-one mentoring.
“WriteGirl has been pivotal in my life,” said Gorman. “It’s been thanks to their support that I’ve been able to chase my dreams as a writer.”