Amanda Gorman Says Her Speech Impediment Is One of Her "Greatest Strengths"
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman is opening up about how her speech impediment has informed her work.
In a conversation with Oprah for Apple TV+'s The Oprah Conversation, Gorman discussed how she came to be a poet.
"I was born early, along with my twin, and a lot of times, for infants, that can lead to learning delays," she said in a clip obtained by People. "One of my delays was in speech and speech pronunciation and also the auditory processing issue just means I really struggle as an auditory learner."
"I'm really grateful for that experience because it informs my poetry," she said. "I think it made me all that much stronger of a writer when you have to teach yourself how to say words from scratch. When you are learning through poetry how to speak English, it lends to a great understanding of sound, of pitch, of pronunciation, so I think of my speech impediment not as a weakness or a disability, but as one of my greatest strengths."
Gorman, who just turned 23, became the nation's youngest inaugural poet when she was 22 and took the stage at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris's inauguration in January.
She then went on to make history again as the first-ever Super Bowl poet, reciting a poem at this year's event that honored three pandemic heroes: educator Trimaine Davis, nurse Suzie Dorner, and Marine veteran James Martin.
This month, Gorman is releasing a special hardcover edition of her inaugural poem, "The Hill We Climb," including a foreword by Oprah herself (who also gifted Gorman the earrings she wore to the inauguration).