Poetry News

Bustle Highlights Sisters Amanda & Gabrielle Gorman's Activist Art

By Harriet Staff
Amanda Gorman, Rise Up As One, film still

Read about twin sisters Amanda and Gabrielle Gorman's collaborative poetry film, "Rise Up As One," at Bustle. Amanda, recently named the nation's first Youth Poet Laureate, reads her poem, also titled "Rise Up As One," in this video, filmed by her sister. At Bustle, Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro remarks, "Amanda explains she wrote the poem after being inspired by the California-based community #RiseUpAsOne, and wanted to help mend the divides in her home state." From there: 

“In this political climate, it’s far too easy to become divided and polarized. I wanted to be part of something, especially dedicated to my home state of California, that spoke about what unites us,” says Amanda. “What binds us together that is strong enough to make us rise up, to speak up? Questions like that always drive my poetry.”

Gabrielle tells Bustle she felt moved to create the “Rise Up As One” video because she felt older generations were discounting the contributions teens and young adults have made to activism.

“Sure, [my generation] addicted to our phones and social media. But let me tell you something — we’re also the first people to roast our homophobic grandpas and racist aunts at Christmas dinner,” says Gabrielle. “I wanted to show in this short film is that the power lies in us, a power that can only be fully realized when we rise up as one.”

Amanda, who is currently a sophomore at Harvard University, was recently honored as the first Youth Poet Laureate to ever be named in the United States. The film begins with a scene of her sitting on a bus, as she begins to recite her poem also entitled “Rise Up As One.” The video features a montage of different marches, protests, and rallies, as well as a diverse group of young advocates — from women of color to queer teens. The video concludes with Amanda recite the last poignant lines of her poem, saying, “You get a wave when one person rises up like a sun, but you get a movement when the brave rise up as one.”

Read on at Bustle.

Originally Published: January 19th, 2018