Youth poet laureate performs touching poem about social change

Amanda Gorman (YouTube / National YoungArts Foundation)

Amanda Gorman, a 19-year old sophomore at Harvard University and the first U.S. youth poet laureate is traveling around the country speaking and performing with the goal of making poetry accessible to America’s youth. “Being the first young poet to have this title means a lot of pressure but also a lot of freedom,” she told Mashable. “I vacillate between anxiety about the precedent I am setting and the excitement that I’m starting fresh on a blank canvas. No pattern, no forerunners, just me defining what matters most to me as laureate. That has been the most thrilling part.”

During an appearance at  the 2017 Social Good Summit in New York City on Sunday Gorman showcased her incredible talent with the poem “The Gathering Place,” a powerful call for community and hope as catalysts for social change. “In this village / We make the globe a little smaller / So we can dream bigger, / so the dream need not wait. / Here in this gathering, / we do good so that the world /might be great,” she read. Her poem was created specifically for the event and was intended to speak to the idea that “we all can contribute to social good,” she said.” Social activism is key to Gorman’s life and work, as an organizer and activist who started a nonprofit dedicated to creating writing opportunities for underserved youth when she was just 16 years old. “Poetry, and art in general, is humankind’s creative mechanism for social change,” she said. “There’s a reason tyrants fear the poet.”

Read the full story at Mashable.

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