Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of Joe Biden on the West Front of the US Capitol on Wednesday. Agence France-Presse
National youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman has become the youngest ever poet to read at a presidential inauguration after she read at the inauguration of Joe Biden. At age 22, the artist has made news before.
“I have kind of stumbled upon this genre. It’s been something I find a lot of emotional reward in, writing something I can make people feel touched by, even if it's just for a night,” Gorman said in a recent interview.
Joe Biden is sworn in Jill Biden holds the Bible. AFP
As she read on Wednesday, she continued a tradition – for Democratic presidents – that includes such celebrated poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
The latter's “On the Pulse of Morning,” written for the 1993 inauguration of President Bill Clinton, went on to sell more than 1 million copies when published in book form. Recent readers include poets Elizabeth Alexander and Richard Blanco, both of whom Gorman has been in touch with. “The three of us are together in mind, body and spirit,” she said.
In 2014, Gorman was named the first Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, and three years later she became the country's first National Youth Poet Laureate.
Amanda Gorman recites during the inauguration of Joe Biden. AFP
She has appeared on MTV; written a tribute to Black athletes for Nike; published her first book, The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, as a teenager; and has a two-book deal with Viking Children's Books. The first work, the picture book Change Sings, comes out later this year.
"OK, here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States but correcting the president of the United States,” said MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, as the network quickly ended its live coverage.
The Secret Service sent an extra squad of agents to Biden's campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware as expectations rose that the Democratic candidate would be able to declare victory over President Donald Trump as early as Friday, the Post reported.
"I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful," the leftist Sanders told supporters in a livestream announcing he is dropping out.
Minutes after major television networks declared Joe Biden the winner following four nail-biting days since the Nov.3 election, supporters banged pots, honked their car horns and set off fireworks across the US cities in exuberant celebration.
Others also carrying drugs fled back into Syria during the attempt, one of an increasing number of such incidents over the past year that had led the army to toughen its rules of engagement with smugglers.
The renewed pressure comes as the pandemic further shakes the North’s economy, which was already battered by crippling US-led sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme and decades of mismanagement by its own government.
The junta, which came to power in a coup in August 2020, had first asked Denmark to withdraw its troops on Monday, following a deployment it said had been undertaken without consent.