“What was the poet’s name?” “Who was that incredible young woman?”
I’ll never forget hearing those questions roll through the audience of the Geffen Playhouse in 2018 when Amanda Gorman stepped off the stage. It was a star-studded Hollywood fundraiser for arts and education programs, a night full of boldface names. But as Amanda delivered her tightrope-taut verse with impossible poise, the room was hers. Sitting in the second row that night, I became a fan for life.
“Who was that?” “What was the poet’s name?”
Those questions ricocheted around the world again on Jan. 20, when Amanda Gorman delivered her original poem “The Hill We Climb,” at President Biden’s Inauguration. If the hardest part of an artist’s job is to fully and honestly meet the moment, Amanda delivered a master class. She spoke truth to power and embodied clear-eyed hope to a weary nation. She revealed us to ourselves.
Here’s the best part: there are so many more moments for Amanda Gorman to meet.
Now the world knows the poet’s name.
Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist and actor