The inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20 featured a performance by Amanda Gorman, 22, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history and the country’s first Youth Poet Laureate. She recited an original work titled “The Hill We Climb,” written to inspire hope and foster a sense of collective purpose among Americans. Gorman follows in the footsteps of other poets who were recruited to help mark presidential inaugurations, including Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. But Gorman’s job this year was especially challenging, as the country is reeling from a deadly pandemic, political violence, and partisan division. “Now more than ever, the United States needs an inaugural poem,” she says. “Poetry is typically the touchstone that we go back to when we have to remind ourselves of the history that we stand on and the future that we stand for.”