Although Tom Brady took home his seventh ring on Sunday night, his victory was overshadowed by a petite young woman crowned in pearls.
Amanda Gorman followed up her stunning reading at President Biden’s inauguration, where she read the instant classic “The Hill We Climb,” to eclipse everything else that happened at the Super Bowl.
Bringing Poetry to Unexpected Spaces
Poetry and football don’t really go together. In fact, aside from the old yarn “Casey at the Bat,” sports and verse rarely ever mix. Amanda Gorman recently told Trevor Noah, “It’s an extant possibility that a poet would be at the Super Bowl — it’s just not something I’ve ever heard about before. Those are the moments I strive for in my lifetime, which is to bring poetry to the spaces that we least expect it so that we can fully grapple with the ways in which it can heal and resurrect us.”
She revealed that the Super Bowl and the Inaugural poem opportunities arrived at roughly the same time, but that she actually started writing the Super Bowl poem first.
Her poem “Chorus of the Captains” paid tribute to three pandemic heroes chosen by the NFL: teacher Trimaine Davis, ICU nurse Suzie Dorner, and Marine veteran and Wounded Warriors Project volunteer James Martin.
— NFL (@NFL) February 7, 2021
Crowned in pearls and wearing a powder blue, studded Moschino coat from the fashion house’s 2021 spring collection. Jeremy Scott is a favorite designer of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus. In fact, Scott dressed Katy Perry for the Super Bowl XLIX Half Time show in 2015.
It makes sense that the National Youth Poet Laureate signed with IMG models following her viral success at the Inauguration. While she’s unlikely to walk the runway, Gorman is a fashion trendsetter who will almost certainly be gracing magazine covers soon.
Five More Contemporary Black Poets You Should Read
While Amanda Gorman is the absolute star of the poetry world right now, she will be the first to encourage you to read other contemporary black poets. As you wait for her books to be published, check out these incredible poets.
This Louisiana-born poet has been writing for almost fifty years–and inspiring generations of writers. He draws on his experiences growing up during the Civil Rights movement, as well as his time served in Vietnam, to inform poetry that is by turns beautiful and confrontational. His collection Neon Vernacular won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994.
Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, Jasmine Mans is the resident poet of the Newark Public Library. Her upcoming book of poems Black Girl, Call Home is getting incredible reviews from critics. This thoughtful exploration of Black womanhood will be available on March 9, 2021.
Camonghe Felix’s debut full-length collection of poetry, Build Yourself a Boat, made a splash (if you’ll excuse the pun) when it was released in April 2019. She previously served as Andrew Cuomo’s speechwriter in 2015, and was featured in HBO’s Brave New Voices in 2010. Felix writes about tough, real-world topics with incredible precision and awareness.
In April of last year, Anis Mojgani was appointed as the Oregon Poet Lauriate. He’s equally influenced by beat poets like Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac as well as Walt Whitman. He also cites artists such as Basquiat and the late MF DOOM as influences on his work. His books feature poetry and illustrations; he also records videos and (when possible) tours.
A rising voice in poetry, Bronx-born Crystal Valentine has traveled the world to share her words. In her own words, “Crystal is a generator and fierce protector of black joy, and strongly believes that intersectionality is a key factor in liberation. As a queer, black, woman, a lot of her work revolves around bridging the ever present gap between her identities.”