Years before Amanda Gorman took the inaugural stage, the now-22-year-old poet recited her pieces at other historic venues, like the Library of Congress. Gorman, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, delivered one of her most compelling addresses at the famed research library in 2017. Her original performance of "In This Place: An American Lyric" three years ago wowed listeners, including Jill Biden, who asked Gorman to join the 2021 Inauguration Day festivities.
The new first lady clearly made the right choice, since Gorman's historic inaugural poem stood out as one of the most inspiring moments from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris's special day. Gorman is incredibly skilled at injecting the sentiment and spirit of our country's triumphs and struggles into her words. Watch her 2017 address above to understand exactly why the first lady wanted her to perform years later.