If you heard Gorman’s charismatic six-minute reading of her transcendent poem “The Hill We Climb,” about unifying a divided and struggling nation, at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, you might very well believe she will make good on her vow to become president of the United States. (She plans to run in 2036.)
The Power of Women honoree’s desire to become president hearkens back to when she was 11 years old in math class talking about what she wanted to change in the world. “My math teacher looked at me and somewhat jokingly said, ‘Well, you should run for president.’ I said, ‘You know what? You’re right!’ … It became my ambition and my goal. It sprung this idea that I don’t just want to participate in society as a poet, but also as a politician.”
Gorman says the country is ready for “a new type of leader,” one who will govern by a “poetic spirit” and “cultural imagination.”
“There’s a saying that you should campaign in poetry but govern in prose. I actually think that we can be flip that around, I think it’s time for our country to be governed a little bit by that poetic spirit by that type of cultural imagination,” Gorman says.
The three issues that are most important to her are equality, education and the environment: “I think those three really meet at the intersection because they quite literally affect us all. Every one of us lives on this planet. Each one of us in some way passes through a kind of educational experience. And every one of us deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Watch the full Variety “Uncovered” episode presented by Lifetime above.