That would be silly – wouldn’t it? Let’s investigate.
Unless you have been asleep at the wheel, you have heard of a bright new star, Amanda Gorman.
She delivered, and I mean delivered, a touching, entertaining and powerful poem she wrote at the recent inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-president Kamala Harris. It was called, The Hill We Climb.
She was a highlight of the star-studded ceremony. According to Anderson Cooper from CNN, she stole the show.
I was struck by the words of her poem. They were insightful way beyond her youthful years and perfect for an occasion signalling much-needed hope. I especially loved the rhythms, the tone and her presentation. For me, she was preaching to the choir, but it didn’t feel like preaching. She just connected.
Even prior to this big moment, Amanda had a history of amazing accomplishments. This includes earning a Harvard degree in Sociology, winning many awards and publishing three books. A full description can be found on her website, with the fearless name, theamandagormon.com.
I came across a video of hers, which illustrates more of her storytelling prowess and tells us a little of her early years. She was presenting a story at The Moth GrandSLAM in 2017. The theme for the evening of stories was “Big Breaks”.
Watch her Roar below.
Now, this brings us to the other part of the riddle, the moth part.
The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York city dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The organization presents a wide range of theme-based storytelling events (StorySLAMs and GrandSLAMs) in cities across the United States and abroad, often featuring prominent literary and cultural personalities.
The Moth was founded in 1997 by poet and novelist , George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate the feeling of sultry summer evenings in his native Georgia, when moths were attracted to the light on the porch. As he and his friends gathered to spin spellbinding tales on the porch, they were joined by the moths. Hence, Green and his original group of storytellers called themselves “The Moths”. An entertaining story and a catchy name – just like the thriving organization.
Amanda Gorman presented her story, Roar, at one of the GrandSLAM events. She was one of a select group, chosen from competitors at the city level (StorySLAMs), to present at a regional level in the United States.
Technically, Amanda is not a Moth, since that term is used mainly to describe the founders of The Moth organization. But, now, through her recent notariety, she has helped bring others to the light of this amazing organization.
I encourage you to learn about The Moth and its 500+ storytelling programs in over 25 U.S. cities and abroad. They are running virtual events during these COVID times and many of the presentations can be found on youtube.
Amanda Gorman is in good company among the dedicated storytellers at The Moth. Let’s all join them on the porch, around the light.
Until next time.