Gorman said on Good Morning America Thursday that the moment "was me rising, I think, as well as the country"

By Jen Juneau
January 21, 2021 03:16 PM
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With more than 50 years between them and vastly different backgrounds, Amanda Gorman and new President Joe Biden may not, at first consideration, seem to have much in common.

But in fact, the 22-year-old — who read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at Biden's inauguration on Wednesday — told Robin Roberts Thursday on Good Morning America that they actually have a significant connection: their speech impediments.

While "President Biden has been super open about his stutter," Gorman told Roberts, 60, that her own "speech impediment wasn't a stutter, but it was dropping several letters that I just could not say for years."

"Most specifically the 'R' sound, which it would take until probably I was 20 to say — meaning that I couldn't say words like 'poetry' or even 'Gorman,' which is my last name," she continued. "I had to really work at it and practice to get to where I am today."

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Gorman went on say that she questioned herself at first for using the word "rise" in her work several times, before realizing it presented her with an "amazing full-circle moment."

"If I'd written this poem three years ago, I wouldn't have been able to say ['rise']," she added. "And so it was me rising, I think, as well as the country at that time."

As for how she was chosen as the inauguration's poet, Gorman said she was "overjoyed" and "grateful" after Dr. Jill Biden's team reached out to her to request she read at the ceremony.

"I was honestly shocked. I had not been expecting that, at 22, they would trust me with such an honor," the young artist admitted. "I was also daunted at the same time; I was scared of writing such a poem. I wasn't sure I could do it justice, but I'm so glad that I put my best foot forward and did it."

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden
| Credit: Rob Carr/Getty

RELATED VIDEO: Amanda Gorman Recites Poem At Joe Biden's Inauguration

Aside from receiving a special video message from Lin-Manuel Miranda and touching on the meaningful gifts she received from Oprah Winfrey for her reading, Gorman recalled a sweet moment she shared with Lady Gaga (who sang the national anthem during the inauguration, while wearing a symbolic peace dove pin) after her poetry reading.

"It was so incredible," she said. "I'm gaga for Gaga, literally. And we kind of just each flew to each other like magnets after the ceremony ended and we were both crying and hugging."

"It was just such a great moment because what she does with music, I aspire to do with poetry, so it was great to have that woman-to-woman camaraderie," Gorman said.

At the end of their interview, Roberts asked what those who were struck by Gorman's poem may be wondering themselves: Is there a run for the presidency off in the young poet's future?

"Heck yeah," she replied without hesitation.