Heard on CultureShift

Detroit Poets Reflect on Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman “Stepping Into Her Moment”

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Image credit: Ryan Patrick Hooper

After 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman stole the show at President Joe Biden’s inauguration and performed at the Super Bowl, Detroit poets jessica Care moore and Booker Snow reflect on her fast rise to fame.

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At just 22-years-old, Amanda Gorman is putting poetry in the spotlight. She stole the show at President Joe Biden’s inauguration with her poem “The Hill We Climb,” stamping history with her name as the youngest poet to read at a U.S. presidential inauguration.

It’s a story that Detroit native jessica Care moore can relate to. 

The Detroit poet was the same age as Gorman when she stepped on the Apollo Theater stage in New York to deliver her poem “Black Statue of Liberty.” The emotionally-charged piece earned her praise from one of the toughest audiences in Harlem. It was a moment that changed her life and launched her career in poetry and spoken word. Last year, moore published a collection of poetry called “We Want Our Bodies Back.”

Courtesy of Jessica Care Moore
Courtesy of Jessica Care Moore

On CultureShift on 101.9 WDET, moore joined CultureShift alongside poet Booker Snow to reflect on Gorman’s coming out party.

She’s a fabulous poet and absolutely stepped into her moment,” says moore. “I think it’s great they picked a National Youth Poet Laureate because we need someone to speak for (the current generation and their perspective). What I hope it does is resonate with people who don’t know that the poetry community across the country and the world is a very vibrant one full of young talent just like her.” 

That Gorman’s poem has reached global heights is a testament to the power of spoken words, says moore.

That’s what poets do,” says moore. “Poets are the most necessary voices of our time. Very underpaid and underrated, but are always asked in moments like this — moments of crisis, ‘What would a poet say?’ We’re historians of the time and (Gorman’s) poem caught this moment of time.”


Click the audio player to listen to the full conversation with poets jessica Care moore and Booker Snow:

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Ryan Patrick Hooper, Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.

hooper@wdet.org Follow @HooperRadio

LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer and writer on CultureShift with a passion for highlighting creatives using their platform to shape, shift and analyze society through an artistic lens.

Latoya.cross@wdet.org Follow @ToizStory

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