Now, the 22-year-old Harvard graduate is on the cover of TIME’s special Black Renaissance issue. The impact of this moment is magnified even more through a special interview with former first lady Michelle Obama.
“What’s been exciting for me is I get to absorb and to live in that creation I see from other African-American artists that I look up to,” said Gorman during her interview. “In all the forms of expression of human life, we’re seeing that artistry be informed by the Black experience. I can’t imagine anything more exciting than that.”
From Inaugural Poet to Symbol of Hope
Gorman’s words have impacted millions, and it is exactly what America needs right now.
Her inauguration poem was filled with deep emotions that highlighted the realities of today and the hope for tomorrow. “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. 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,” Gorman shared with the New York Times. “It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.”
The Poet Shares All in Interview with Michelle Obama
The national youth poet laureate was photographed by Awol Erizku and interviewed remotely by Michelle Obama for the TIME magazine feature.
This Black Renaissance edition was assembled through a collaboration with activist and scholar Ibram X Kendi. The magazine highlights Black culture and the arts, and captures a compelling conversation between Gorman and Obama. These two history-makers get real about activism, being a Black woman, and the power of poetry.
“I am still grappling with the fact that I have entered the historical record,” says Gorman during her interview. “I don’t think I always knew I was going to be the Inaugural poet, but every single time I wrote a public poem, before I began writing it, I would tell myself: write a poem that is worthy of a presidential inauguration.”
Black Renaissance Special Edition Feature
This week has led to even more exciting news for the young star. TIME Magazine dropped the Black Renaissance special edition issue on Friday, February 5th. Gorman graces the cover of the magazine with a yellow dress designed by Greta Constantine. During her TIME magazine interview, she shared many words of wisdom that can help anyone take bold, inspired action.