News | Penguin Random House | New York, 02/03/2021

PRH Poet Amanda Gorman To Perform At 55th Super Bowl

Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet whose work is published by Penguin Random House, will perform at the 55th Super Bowl. She will recite a self-penned poem honoring three everyday heroes of the Covid pandemic. Viking Books for Young Readers is publishing three works by Amanda Gorman, each with a starting print run of one million copies.

The enthusiasm of the people in the USA for the young poet Amanda Gorman continues unabated. Following her impressive performance at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., Gorman will now also perform at the Super Bowl finale, one of the few TV events that is likely to attract even more viewers than the inauguration of a new POTUS. Penguin Random House plans to publish three of the 22-year-old’s works – two volumes of poetry and a children’s book – all of which are already in Amazon’s top 5 best-selling titles. Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, has responded by sharply increasing the initial print run of the works.

But first: the Super Bowl, the annual finale of America’s National Football League NFL and one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. At the 55th Super Bowl on February 7 in Tampa, Florida, when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Amanda Gorman will be the first poet in Super Bowl history to perform just before the start of the game. She will recite a self-penned poem honoring three everyday heroes for their special accomplishments during the Covid pandemic: educator Trimaine Davis, nurse Suzie Dorner, and James Martin, a veteran of the Marines. Davis made sure to get his students and their families in Los Angeles devices and internet access, and he also hosted tech workshops to help people learn how to use the devices. Dorner, who lost two grandparents to Covid-19, is the Covid ICU nurse manager at Tampa General Hospital and represents healthcare workers across the country as honorary captain. And Martin helped veterans, high school athletes and local youth connect virtually through the Wounded Warrior Project and by livestreaming events in Pittsburgh

On January 20, Amanda Gorman’s recital of her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. president moved millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. The 22-year-old Los Angeles native was the youngest poet ever to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. Given the enthusiastic response to Gorman’s performance, Viking Books for Young Readers decided immediately after the inauguration to publish a special edition of the poem at the end of April, with an initial print run of 150,000 copies and a foreword by Oprah Winfrey. It has now been announced that the publisher is bringing forward the publication date to March 16 and increasing the initial print run to one million copies. The book was number four on Amazon’s list of top-selling books last Friday.

“The Hill We Climb” is also the title of Amanda Gorman’s first poetry collection, which Viking Books for Young Readers will also be publishing in an initial print run of one million copies on Sept. 21. As of Friday, the work was #1 Amazon’s bestseller list. Right behind it at #2 is Amanda Gorman’s third book, which Viking Books for Young Readers will also release on Sept. 21 and in a starting print run of one million copies. It is a children’s picture book called “Change Sings,” with illustrations by Loren Long, who has illustrated several “New York Times” bestsellers. Change Sings” is about a young girl who leads various characters on a musical journey on which they realize that everyone has the power to bring about change, in the world, in their environment, and especially in themselves.

Amanda Gorman began attracting attention for her poetry as a teenager. In 2017, she became the first person to be named “National Youth Poet Laureate” after prevailing over other up-and-coming poets in a nationwide competition. The award is presented by the New York-based literary promotion initiative Urban Word to honor young poets who are also committed to social justice and active in civic discourse and advocacy. Besides writing poetry, Amanda Gorman, who graduated from Harvard with a degree in sociology, also campaigns regionally and nationally for education and equal opportunities. After her inauguration appearance, during which she wore a striking yellow coat and bright red hairband, Amanda Gorman also signed a contract with the renowned modeling agency IMG Models.