After becoming a sensation at President Joe Biden’s inauguration with her poem “The Hill We Climb,” life has turned into an unstoppable rise for Amanda Gorman.
The 23-year-old Harvard graduate and Youth Poet Laureate landed a literary contract and is now the cover image of Vogue magazine for May.
As the magazine announced on social media, Gorman “has become so much more than a literary star.”
.@TheAmandaGorman is our May cover star!
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) April 7, 2021
Under the lens of iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz, Gorman wore a Louis Vuitton blanket as a dress, cinched with a wide gold belt. The garment’s color scale and print theme is inspired by African textiles and is a design by Virgil Abloh, Vuitton’s first black artistic director, CNN reported.
But her arrival on the cover of one of the world’s most important magazines is not just a stunning photograph.
In conversation with Doreen St. Felix, Amanda Gorman made it clear that her mastery of words and language has one origin and one goal: to make a difference.
“It took so much labor, not only on behalf of me, but also of my family and of my village, to get here,” the poet said.
Gorman opens up about her relationships with some political power players, including describing 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who she’s known for several years, as “such a grandma.” She calls former President Obama “dadlike,” and former first lady Michelle Obama is referred to as “the cool auntie.”
From her gradual conquest of all channels and all platforms to the impeccable handling of her personal image at just 23 years old, there isn’t an audience Gorman doesn’t conquer.
Following the unveiling, Gorman signed with modeling agency IMG, appeared on the February cover of Time magazine, and made a series of public appearances, including an International Women’s Day panel discussion with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and supermodel Chrissy Teigen.
In September, Gorman will publish two books –
a collection of her poetry, “The Hill We Climb and Other Poems,” and a children’s picture book “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem,” which have already topped best-seller lists on Amazon.
The poet estimates that she has recently turned down offers of up to $17 million, admitting that she doesn’t stop at money but rather that campaigns or companies align with her principles and goals.
“I didn’t really look at the details,” she said of one massive offer from a brand, “because if you see something and it says a million dollars, you’re going to rationalize why that makes sense.”
“I have to be conscious of taking commissions that speak to me,” she said.
Following the Vogue announcement, the poet took to social media to acknowledge those who have supported her along the way.
“This is called the Rise of Amanda Gorman,” she wrote on Instagram, “but it is truly for all of you, both named and unnamed, who lift me up.”