2017 National Youth Poet Laureate

Amanda Gorman

In April 2017, at New York City’s historic Gracie Mansion, with the Mayor and his family, nineteen-year-old Amanda Gorman of Los Angeles was named our country’s inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate. The ceremony brought together a diverse roster of Youth Poet Laureates from New York City, where the program was founded, as well as poetry icons that included Patricia Smith, Tina Chang, Taylor Mali, Kurtis Blow and Kimiko Hahn.

Gorman is a poet, community leader, and speaker from Los Angeles, California. In her capacity as the LA Youth Poet Laureate she worked with the LA Commission on Human Relations to develop youth programs, conduct a county-wide library tour, and she published her first collection of poetry, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, with Penmanship Books.

Gorman is the founder and Executive Director of the organization One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy among youth through creative writing programming, an online magazine, and advocacy initiatives. She has been a HERlead Fellow in Washington, D.C, a HERlead Global Delegate in London at the TrustWomen Conference, and a United Nations Youth Delegate. She has introduced Secretary Hillary Clinton at the 2017 Global Leadership Awards, was celebrated by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, and performed at The Library of Congress with U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. She has been honored with a special resolution from the Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners, an Outstanding Community Service Award by the City of Los Angeles, and Certificates of Recognition for her leadership by the California State Assembly and Mayor’s Office. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The NY Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Elle.com, and award-winning anthologies. Her literary awards include national recognition from Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards and YoungArts. A 2017 OZY Genius Grant Recipient, she is currently directing a virtual reality film exhibit. She is a sophomore at Harvard University, where she studies political science and creative writing and spends too much time in the Charlotte Brontë section of the library.

(Photo credit: Vital Voices)

Gorman in the News