Poet Amanda Gorman revisits inaugural triumph with Oprah, rare luxury of having one's words make history

In a wide-ranging interview with Winfrey, Gorman discusses how she approached the poem’s creation; the literary figures who inspire her; personal stories that shaped her past, and her hopes for the future.

The Associated Press March 26, 2021 13:44:05 IST
Poet Amanda Gorman revisits inaugural triumph with Oprah, rare luxury of having one's words make history

'I was enthralled by her youthful spirit from the first moment we met,' Winfrey said of Gorman. AP Photo

LOS ANGELES — Amanda Gorman revisits her inauguration day poetry reading that wowed observers, among them Oprah Winfrey, in the Apple TV+ series The Oprah Conversation.

The 23-year-old Gorman “stepped into a moment in history with enormous grace and dignity,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I was enthralled by her youthful spirit from the first moment we met, and very much looked forward to hearing her unpack all that has happened to her the past few months.”

The interview will be out Friday on the streaming service.

The first National Youth Poet Laureate and the youngest inaugural poet in US history, Gorman recited “The Hill We Climb” for the 20 January swearing-in ceremony for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

In a wide-ranging interview with Winfrey, Gorman discusses how she approached the poem’s creation; the literary figures who inspire her; personal stories that shaped her past, and her hopes for the future, the streaming service said in a release Thursday.

“It felt meaningful, not only for me but in a broader sense,” Gorman says of her poem in a clip from the interview. She describes the work as “something that the world needed to hear and that I needed to write. Very rarely do you get that type of luxury as a poet, in which your words aren’t just meeting the moment, but making the moment in history.”

Winfrey is used to making moments, most recently with her CBS interview in which Britain’s Harry and Meghan, his African American wife, detailed why they left their royal duties and are creating a new, independent life in California. Among the bombshells the couple shared with Winfrey: that someone in the palace had speculated on how dark their then-unborn son, Archie, would be.

Others who have been interviewed for The Oprah Conversation include former President Barack Obama, Matthew McConaughey, Stevie Wonder and author Ibram X Kendi.

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