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Youth poet laureate leaves lasting impression on Inauguration Day

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 10:46 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who performed at President Biden’s inauguration, is inspiring people around the country, and here in Kentucky.

The nation’s first youth poet laureate, wrote a poem called “The Hill We Climb.” In it, she spoke about unity, grief, our country’s history, and looking forward to the future.

David Bellnier, the marketing specialist for Lexington Public Libraries, said Gorman’s presentation showed all generations the power words hold.

“The way that she was able to invite the audience to look at harder parts of our history, but still embrace hope and action for change was inspiring,” Bellnier said.

For both Gorman and Bellnier, a love for poetry developed early on. It would be a love that would empower them to speak their minds.

“I was very shy, I couldn’t order my own food at a restaurant, but having space to step into other people’s words and to feel their power made me feel more comfortable speaking in front of people,” he said.

Both Gorman and President Joe Biden had speech impediments during their childhood, but grew up to embrace their voice in their careers.

“Young people are wiser and more ready for leadership than I think a lot of people give them credit for,” Bellnier said.

While many young girls saw the first female vice president being sworn in, people of all ages saw an art form they too can embrace.

“The way that she’s able to weave words together to inspire people is....inspiring,” Bellnier said.

Gorman is the youngest poet to speak at a presidential inauguration.

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