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Amanda Gorman’s books top bestseller lists after inaugural poem

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Two books by Amanda Gorman, who made history Wednesday as the youngest known inaugural poet, topped Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists on Thursday less than a day after she delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington.

Her two books — a debut poetry collection also titled “The Hill We Climb” and a children’s picture book called “Change Sings” — aren’t even commercially available yet, a sign of the splash Gorman made judging from the tide of comments on social media. Both will be released in September, according to Amazon.

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The 22-year-old Los Angeles resident said on Twitter she was “on the floor” that her books had skyrocketed to the top of the bestseller list. 

“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: “For words alone are certain good: Sing, then,” she wrote on the social-media service.

“The Hill We Climb” was the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon as of Thursday morning, while “Change Sings,” holds the No. 2 spot; those positions are reversed on Barnes & Noble.

Poetry books rarely hit the bestseller list, but Gorman’s poem drew accolades and positive responses from ordinary citizens to celebrities alike.

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“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise!” Oprah Winfrey wrote on Twitter about Gorman. “Maya Angelou is cheering — and so am I.”

Gorman, a Harvard graduate, became the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. She has struggled with a speech impediment, like Mr. Biden, and described poetry as a “lifeline” for her.

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