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Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance

Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance
© AFP/Pool

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman gained national acclaim Wednesday following her performance at President Biden’s inauguration ceremony, ranking among the top trending topics on social media and search engines that day. 

According to analysis by Axios based on social media data provided by NewsWhip, Gorman had the most average interactions on social media, receiving more than 4,000 likes, comments or shares per article shared across platforms.

The level of interaction for Gorman was nearly three times higher than former President Obama and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' Michelle Obama on conversations with her daughters: 'Me and Barack, we can't get a word in' Michelle Obama offers advice with release of young readers' edition of 'Becoming' memoir MORE, who together received the second highest average interactions, followed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor GOP pulling out all the stops to delay COVID-19 package MORE (I-Vt.), whose image with his arms and legs crossed in a chair while attending the inauguration quickly turned into a viral meme. 

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Axios also noted that the four most-viral stories on Wednesday related to Gorman, with an article from NPR detailing Gorman’s recital of her original poem, “The Hill We Climb,” gaining a total of 1.74 million interactions. 

Google also announced that “Amanda Gorman,” "poet laureate" and "The Hill We Climb" were among the top five searches in the U.S. on Wednesday. 

Following the swearing-in ceremony for Biden and Vice President Harris, Gorman received widespread praise for her poem, which called on Americans to acknowledge the country’s complicated history while moving forward with hope and unity. 

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“When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade,” Gorman said. “The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We've braved the belly of the beast. We've learned that quiet isn't always peace and the norms and notions of what just is isn't always justice.”

“And yet the dawn is ours,” she added.

Gorman, 22, on Wednesday became the youngest known inaugural poet in U.S. history, following in the footsteps of previously celebrated poets who have performed at inaugurations including Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. 

Two of Gorman’s books surged to the top of Amazon’s bestselling list within hours of her inauguration performance, and as of Thursday evening, “The Hill We Climb: Poems,” and “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem,” still held the top two spots. 

In 2017, Gorman, who was 19 at the time, became the nation’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. This came two years after she published her first book, titled “The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough.”