National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman working with SF organization to inspire next wave of writers

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Friday, January 22, 2021
Amanda Gorman, SF organization look to inspire young writers
A San Francisco-based organization, which inaugural poet Amanda Gorman partners, with is working to inspire the next generation of creative writers.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- National Youth Poet Laureate and Los Angeles native Amanda Gorman captured hearts and the imagination of our country in crisis during Wednesday's Inauguration of President Biden.

A San Francisco-based organization Gorman partners with is working to inspire the next generation of creative writers.

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"It's not often you wake up on a morning feeling likes this," said Amanda Gorman, 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate on GMA Thursday morning.

"It was all so daunting at the same time, I was honestly scared of writing such a poem I wasn't sure I could do it justice," Gorman said.

The 22-year-old poet may have had doubts, but those who know her know she was prepared for this moment.

VIDEO: LA poet Amanda Gorman, 22, recites 'The Hill We Climb' at inauguration ceremony

A Los Angeles woman became the youngest inaugural poet when she performed an original poem at President Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony.

"Amanda showed us all what's possible. She truly embodies our mission," said Laura Brief, CEO of 826 National.

826 National is a San Francisco-based national non-profit dedicated to strengthening creative writing skills in students aged 6 to 18-years-old.

Gorman serves on the board of the organization and is featured in instructional videos used to coach young writers in their journey.

826 National typically serves 9,000 students in San Francisco each year. This year, due to COVID-19, the organization is working closely with 2,300 students who attend the San Francisco Unified School District.

"Reading is access. That's tremendously important, but writing is power," said Brief. "We strive to ensure that the power and joy of writing is getting into the hands of young people."

WATCH: Newly-named San Francisco Poet Laureate performs for ABC7 News

San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin performed his poem "Blood in My Eye" from his 2015 book "Someone's Dead Already" during his interview with ABC7 Race & Culture Reporter Julian Glover.

Newly-named San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin applauds Gorman on acing a tough assignment.

"I think she she pulled it off. She did the best she could with what is actually a dangerous moment because we were in danger of going back to sleep," said Eisen-Martin.

In the spirit of the poet laureate title, Eisen-Martin plans to use his platform to encourage change and social activism.

"Poetry (should be) tied to really the process of increasing social awareness of people's powers and participation in resistance, in a movement," said Eisen Martin.

826 National is currently running a fundraising campaign to create writing programs for more students across the country. Click here to make a contribution.