Since rising to fame with her inauguration poem, Amanda Gorman has stayed busy – appearing on the cover of magazines and preparing to drop her debut poetry collection.
Now, the former National Youth Poet Laureate is giving back, with a new creative writing award for public high school students boasting a first-place prize of $10,000. The award is specifically aimed toward the best original poetry composition.
“As someone who found my love of writing at a young age, I want to continue to foster that same love in the next generation of great poets,” Gorman said in a statement.
The Amanda Gorman Award for Poetry is part of a partnership with Penguin Random House, which will also release Gorman’s forthcoming children’s book and poetry collection. The competition will open for submissions on October 1. All high school seniors who attend public schools and are also planning on attending college are eligible to compete.
Gorman has said that she began writing when she as a small child, a journey that led to her designation as the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate by Urban Word in 2017. At President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet ever at 22 years old. Her words – “If only we’re brave enough to see it / If only we’re brave enough to be it” – inspired everything from prints to T-shirts in the days and weeks after the inauguration ceremony.
In the months since, the Harvard graduate has been vocal about the need to use one’s voice to inspire political change, and she has even expressed interest in running for office in the future.