Amanda Gorman touched a nerve.
With her words, the National Youth Poet Laureate stirred a nation and worldwide audience watching the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Online, those new fans were moved to buy the 22-year-old’s books and sing her praises on social media.
In the moments after reading her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” Gorman’s Twitter following went through the roof. When we checked her feed and followed her before 9:30 am PT, she was somewhere near 50,000 followers and gaining tens of thousands as the minutes passed. By the time of this writing, she’d passed 800,000 and was easily on her way to 1 million.
Her reading was shared by the likes of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
On a day for the history books, @TheAmandaGorman delivered a poem that more than met the moment. Young people like her are proof that “there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it; if only we’re brave enough to be it.” pic.twitter.com/mbywtvjtEH
– Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 20, 2021
The youngest inaugural poet in US history, The New York Times noted that Gorman joined a small group of poets recruited to help mark a presidential inauguration, including Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
“In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years,” Gorman told the Times. “But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal.”
Later Wednesday, after retweeting some of the high-profile praise she had been receiving, Gorman did what any author might do – she checked her Amazon seller status. And there she discovered that her two books were holding the top two spots among all book sales on the site.
I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE # 1 & # 2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY! Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: “For words alone are certain good: Sing, then”
– Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) January 20, 2021
Gorman’s “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem” was available for pre-order and not out until Sept. 21. The hardcover children’s picture book is illustrated by Loren Long.
“The Hill We Climb,” Gorman’s first ever collection of poetry, will also be out in September.