2021 | Schools

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s event with Montgomery College postponed

Make-up date not set; 5,000 people had registered

A local event with poet Amanda Gorman — who grabbed national attention with her Inauguration Day poem at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden — has been postponed.

Gorman, 22, was scheduled to host a poetry reading for Montgomery College students and community members on Feb. 2.

The college announced on Wednesday that the event has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict. A make-up date has not been determined.

“The College is in communication with Ms. Gorman’s representatives and we are confident that a new date will be announced soon,” officials wrote in a message to staff members and students. “ … We look forward to having Ms. Gorman join the MC community as soon as her schedule allows.”

The message said all of the people who registered for the event — 5,000, according to a college spokesman — will remain registered for the rescheduled date.

With her reading at the inauguration on Jan. 20, Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in United States history.

She gave a powerful reading of her poem “The Hill We Climb,” written largely in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The poem reflects on the troubles of the past several years — nationwide protests calling for racial justice, a devastating global pandemic, political division — but punctuates the importance of moving forward as a unified country.

“Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one,” the poem reads.

“And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.”

Gorman, of Los Angeles, published her first poetry collection at 16, and became the first national youth poet laureate in 2017. She has a sociology degree from Harvard University and plans to run for president in 2036, the first year she is old enough to do so, according to the Los Angeles Times.