By Caroline Kitchener, THE LILY
Jan. 20, 2021
When Alexandra Gazzaniga Padilla gives her 10th-grade students time to write, she will circulate around the room, coaxing words out of students who need help.
There was always one student she left to work through her words on her own, she says.
With headphones on, Amanda Gorman would be “pulsating” as she put pen to paper, the English teacher said. She would write — and slip into another world.
“It was the most beautiful energy to have in the room,” Padilla said.
On Wednesday, Gorman became the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration. Named the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, she roused the country with “The Hill We Climb,” a poem about the fragile state of democracy and the role each individual can play in preserving it. Gorman became a viral sensation as millions of Americans watched her recitation, amassing nearly 900,000