A Poetic Hurricane
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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C., United States (CC BY 2.0)
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A Poetic Hurricane

The Ascent of Amanda Gorman
Bartosz Wójcik
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She made headlines after performing a poem during Joe Biden’s inauguration. But it would be remiss to call Amanda Gorman a one-hit wonder.

The poetic manifesto by the then 22-year-old Amanda Gorman that accompanied the inauguration of the Biden-Harris presidency in mid-January was one of the most frequently cited and commented on cultural texts in the first quarter of 2021. The Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo called her hypnotizing rendition a communal event: “A triumph for black women worldwide.” Lauren K. Alleyne, a published poet and Assistant Director of Furious Flower – the first academic centre for Black poetry in the US – expressed a similar sentiment on her Facebook page. She observed that “The Hill We Climb” is written “in the tradition of occasional poems including the five previous,” before adding that “sometimes the priority ain’t the poem, but the moment…”.

Already during the swearing-in of the President and Vice President, as her premiere performance of “The Hill We Climb” was in full swing, the recognizability of Amanda Gorman skyrocketed, reaching an unprecedented level – as far as poetry is concerned. The English-speaking internet was finally engulfed by a literary viral sensation, rather than by the virus that 2020 made us all too aware of. The rapidly circulated and instantly trendsetting recording of the Washington ceremony also served as an

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Out of America
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“Homeland Elegies” by Ayad Akhtar, Little, Brown and Company, New York 2020
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Out of America

A Tale from the Second Generation
Paulina Wilk

The United States is a bitter land. Born as a colony, deep down it remains one to this day. Its top priority – accumulation of wealth – was encased in the ideals of equality that were to remain of secondary importance forever. To strip America of its false promises, to expose its ruthlessness and only then, having done it all, declare his love for it – this is a feat that America’s unwanted son managed to accomplish.

To his homeland, Ayad Akhtar is a troublesome child. He does not fit. He doesn’t match the stereotypes that arrange the world into various xenophobic categories, but he doesn’t fall into the slot reserved for those basking in the American Dream Fulfilled, either.

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