Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman has admitted that she is still struggling to come to terms with her new-found celebrity status after shooting to fame with her history-making performance at Joe Biden’s ceremony in January.
In the months since the inauguration, Amanda, 23, has inked a major deal with Gigi Hadid’s modeling agency, IMG, landed her first Vogue cover – and received an invitation from Anna Wintour to chair this year’s Met Gala, arguably one of the fashion industry’s most prestigious honors.
However, the Harvard graduate – who overcame a lifelong speech impediment in order to perform her poetry publicly – says that she is still suffering from imposter syndrome, noting that she feels ‘like a freshman at a party with seniors’ when compared to her co-chairs, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka and Timothée Chalamet.
‘Co-chairing with Timothée, Naomi and Billie – it feels like being a freshman at a party with seniors. You know? Like I just arrived here,’ she said in an interview with Porter magazine – which features the poet as its newest cover star.
‘My life has changed quite recently and they are all at the top of their game, and so I’m just absorbing what it means to be able to stand beside their greatness.’
One to watch: Amanda Gorman revealed life changed overnight after reciting poetry at Joe Biden’s inauguration and dished on chairing the 2021 Met Gala as she covered Porter magazine
New venture: She also touched on how feels to be a co-chair of 2021’s Met Gala along with Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka and Timothee Chalamet
Iconic: The 23-year-old poet recited The Hill We Climb at Biden’s inauguration (pictured), and became something a style icon after the reading, thanks to a sunshine yellow Prada coat
Amanda revealed that she was asked to take on the role of co-chair by Vogue editor-in-chief and Met Gala chairwoman Anna Wintour, who personally called the poet via Zoom to invite her to host this year’s event – which has been delayed by four months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite her nerves about taking on the high-pressure role, she described the honor as ‘groundbreaking’, and said she hopes that her foray into the fashion industry will serve as the foundation for many other writers and poets to one day grace the red carpet – and earn the same kind of celebrity status that she now boasts.
Still, Amanda admits that her new-found fame has not been easy to get to grips with – despite the fact that it has already earned her a slew of lucrative brand offers and plenty of high profile opportunities, including cover shoots and speaking roles.
‘I’m experiencing a tectonic shift in my own world,’ she noted, while admitting that it has been difficult for to adjust to living life in the limelight, particularly when so many writers thrive on their anonymity and ability to observe the world without attracting any attention.
‘I think so often writers are not only used to, but dependent on the sensation that we can go out amongst life and not cause any ripples. That we can watch and observe nature or humanity and that we will be an unrecognized piece of it, and we can write that in our stories,’ she explained.
‘Finding out how to be a fly on the wall, when I’ve actually become the bull in the china shop, is new.’
Amanda’s seemingly overnight transformation into a fully-fledged A-lister may have come as something of a shock to her, but it has also provided the poet with plenty of significant opportunities – not least helping to rocket her upcoming books to the top of the best-seller lists, before they’ve even been published.
She said of her recital: ‘I remember stepping up and hearing the applause and, to my ears, it just sounded like a living room. It felt like I was getting up to recite for family’
Beautiful: Amanda appears on the cover of Porter magazine’s September edition
The first, Change Sings, is a children’s book that will be released in September, while the second, The Hill We Climb, is a poetry book titled after the piece she wrote for the inauguration, which will be published in December.
In April of this year, Amanda also revealed that she had already turned down $17 million worth of deals in the three months since she had signed with IMG, insisting during an interview with Vogue that she will only take on jobs that ‘speak to her’.
During her interview with Porter, Amanda touched on her star-making performance at the inauguration, admitting that it felt to her very much like a ‘traditional poetry reading’, despite the fact that it was being watched by millions around the world – not to mention a star-studded crown of in-person guests that included the likes of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Jennifer Lopez.
‘I remember stepping up and hearing the applause and, to my ears, it just sounded like a living room. It felt like I was getting up to recite for family,’ she recalled.
Amanda confessed that she was warned by her friend Oprah Winfrey that the moment would ‘change her life’, but says she was still stunned by how quickly her star rose in the hours and days after the ceremony.
‘I had a bet with one of my friends about how many new followers I might get…’ she revealed. ‘I was like, “a hundred thousand max”. I looked afterwards and it was millions.’
While her performance earned her applause from a host of famous faces, including Oprah, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and John Legend, it also helped to spotlight her as a rising fashion star, thanks to the bold sunshine-yellow Prada coat and matching red headband she modeled while speaking at the podium.
For Amanda, her choice of headwear was far from a simple style pick – but instead served as a means for her to ‘celebrate her black heritage’.
‘I made the intentional choice to wear my hair natural, to wear braids, to wear a headband as a point of pride,’ she explained.
‘I love clothing that feels young and vibrant and hopeful, but also thoughtful and pensive.’
Celebrity: She is currently grappling with her new found fame, saying: ‘Finding out how to be a fly on the wall, when I’ve actually become the bull in the china shop, is new’
To see the full interview with Amanda Gorman visit Porter and/or download the NET-A-PORTER app for iPhone, iPad and Android.