Amanda Gorman Hopes to Be a "Stepping-Stone For Change" in Historic Vogue Cover

Ever since Amanda Gorman gave a poetry reading at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we've been captivated by her words of wisdom. While the 23-year-old stepped into the spotlight as a literary icon, she's so much more than that. She's also an author, an activist, an IMG model, and now a Vogue cover star. In a beautiful cover story written by Doreen St. Félix and photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the magazine's May 2021 issue, Amanda gets candid about her newfound fame and how she hopes to be "a stepping-stone for change" and inspire others to step into their greatness. The cover story is also a historic moment as Amanda is the first poet to cover the magazine. See some of her most inspiring quotes (and stunning portraits) from the cover story ahead.

  • On the journey of getting to where she is now in life: "It took so much labor, not only on behalf of me, but also of my family and of my village, to get here."
  • On accepting her greatness: "I've learned that it's okay to be afraid. And what's more, it's okay to seek greatness. That does not make me a black hole seeking attention. It makes me a supernova."

  • On avoiding situations that could make her seem like a token: "I don't want it to be something that becomes a cage — where to be a successful Black girl, you have to be Amanda Gorman and go to Harvard. I want someone to eventually disrupt the model I have established."
  • On being conscious of the opportunities she takes on: "If you see something and it says a million dollars, you're going to rationalize why that makes sense. I have to be conscious of taking commissions that speak to me."