Amanda Gorman Makes History As First Poet On The Cover Of 'Vogue'

by Valerie Williams

Amanda Gorman looks stunning on the May cover of “Vogue” magazine

To say 23-year-old poet (and Harvard grad) Amanda Gorman is having a big year is the understatement of the century. After her gorgeous Inauguration Day reading of her poem “The Hill We Climb,” Gorman was pretty much everywhere — and rightly so. This brilliant young woman captivated the nation with her talent for words and now, she’s making history again as the first poet on the cover of Vogue.

Gorman called the experience of shooting the cover “a dream” and that’s fitting because she looks like a literal dream in every photo from the stunning pictorial. “The first poet ever on the cover of @voguemagazine. I am eternally grateful & do not expect to be the last—for what is poetry if not beauty?” she writes in a Facebook post acknowledging the cover story.

The young phenom was photographed by the legendary Annie Leibovitz and her cover look, a nod to her heritage, was designed by Virgil Abloh, a Black designer whose work Gorman calls “groundbreaking.”

“This is called the Rise of Amanda Gorman, but it is truly for all of you, both named and unseen, who lift me up,” she writes of the feature. She also notes that her mom helped with her hair on-set and that’s simply way too sweet.

Gorman, who signed a modeling contract shortly after the Inauguration (though she notes the deal was actually in the works long before the big day), counts the Obamas as mentors, calling Barack “dad-like” and Michelle “the cool auntie” in her Vogue interview. She’s also been close to Hillary Clinton for years calling her, “such a grandma.” It’s only right that Gorman would count among her acquaintances the most impressive Americans one could think of — her words at the Inauguration quickly eclipsed the day’s main event. She’s already a legend in her own right.

But that doesn’t mean she’s not also a typical young woman obsessed with Hamilton and Harry Potter — though she is also personal friends with Lin-Manuel Miranda and has ambitions of her own eventual presidential run, so again, she’s a pretty big deal.

To that end, Gorman tells Vogue she’s already turned down about $17 million in offers citing the fact that a company’s expectations of her might not necessarily align with her own values. “I have to be conscious of taking commissions that speak to me,” she says.

As far as upcoming projects? She has two books coming out in September — Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem and The Hill We Climb and Other Poems. Naturally, they’re both already on the bestsellers list without even being on the shelves — a fact that should surprise exactly no one.