Poet Amanda Gorman, star of Biden inauguration, on climate change

By Bud Ward | January 30, 2021

portrait of Amanda GormanAmanda Gorman. Photo courtesy of Climate Reality/24 Hours of Reality

Editor’s note: This story was originally published by Yale Climate Connections, an initiative of the Yale Center for Environmental Communication.

Poet Amanda Gorman got well-deserved rave reviews for her dramatic reading of her six-minute “The Hill We Climb” poem January 20 before a global TV and online inauguration day audience.

It’s fair to say that for many, she in effect “stole the show” during the Biden/Harris inauguration day ceremonies. And she continued to do so through countless major- and social-media follow-ups since then.

But what if Gorman, 22, the nation’s youth poet laureate, could bring her poetic, presentation skills, and grace to the issue of climate change?

In fact, she’s done just that. In December 2018, Gorman presented her original “Earthrise” four-minute poem as part of a Climate Reality Project “24 hours of reality” campaign. Her reading of that poem has attracted more than 260,000 YouTube views as of January 29.

No effort here to paraphrase or quote from it: That would be like the proverbial narrative describing a photo of a painting of a unique landscape. Watch and listen to it yourself.

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