Penguin Random House UK is to publish four books from Amanda Gorman, the youngest presidential inaugural poet in US history, including a special edition of “The Hill We Climb” which she read at Joe Biden's inauguration.
The deal sees Chatto & Windus release The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem on 30th March, including a foreword by Oprah Winfrey, followed by the writer's breakout poetry collection, The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, on 21st September. UK & Commonwealth rights were bought from from Helen Boomer at Penguin Random House US.
Also on 21st September, Penguin Random House Children’s imprint Puffin will publish Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem. A second, as-yet-untitled, picture book has been acquired too. All the titles are being released simultaneously with the UK by Viking Books for Young Readers in the US.
The poet said: “I am excited so to be working with Vintage and Puffin on my poetry and my children’s books. They have such a clear vision, it was obvious that they understood me and my values. I am just so thrilled that we will be collaborating together and bringing my words to the rest of the world. I can’t wait to get started.”
Gorman, who stole the show again at the Super Bowl this weekend, became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Gorman “captivated America and brought hope to viewers around the globe”. PRH said.
Her collection The Hill We Climb and Other Poems “reveals an energising and unforgettable new voice in poetry”, the publisher added.
Hannah Telfer, m.d. at Vintage said: “When Amanda Gorman read ‘The Hill We Climb’ on President Biden’s Inauguration Day, the world responded. Her messages of unity and reconciliation struck a chord across generations and showed us there can be a way to a more hopeful future. We are thrilled to bring these messages and her inspiring voice to readers in the UK and around the world with her two poetry books this year.”
Chatto editor Charlotte Humphery added: “Amanda Gorman is a vital force for change in all her work – as American Youth Poet Laureate, as a writer and as an activist. Her words have already lifted the hearts of millions and it is an honour to be able to celebrate them, bring them to new audiences with these publications and “author a new chapter” with Amanda. These books are bright bolts of hope that we all need right now.’
Meanwhile, Change Sings sees a a young girl leading a cast of characters on a musical journey. On the way “they learn that they have the power to make changes – big or small – in the world, in their communities, and most importantly, in themselves”. Billed as “a triumphant call to action for everyone to use their abilities to make a difference”, the book includes illustrations by Loren Long.
Francesca Dow, m.d. at Penguin Random House Children’s UK, said: “At Puffin, we believe in the power of stories to change lives. Through her electrifying inauguration performance, Amanda Gorman demonstrated how words can unite us, showing the world that every child, big or small, can make a difference. Now we have the chance to connect Amanda’s poetic picture-book magic with families and children across the globe. In publishing Change Sings we celebrate the power of words to change the world, inspiring the next generation of readers with hope for a better future.”
Puffin Picture Books editorial director Andrea MacDonald added: “Amanda Gorman’s work is rich, powerful, a beacon of hope; to publish this truly remarkable poet through her passionate picture-book writing is a real privilege. Change Sings is an anthem indeed: a picture book in which we rejoice in Amanda’s lyrical language and Loren Long’s virtuosic illustrations. We cannot wait to share this very special book, and the books to come, from this incredible talent.”