Young Knives Are Back!

  Montreux Jazz Festival 2021

  Music & Brexit

  USA Inauguration 2021

  Ani DiFranco New LP +

  Discover David Ford

  New 2021 Releases

  Happy New Year?

  Black Sabbath VOL 4 Revisited

  All Things Must Pass 50th

  The Wainwrights Plus Virtual

  My Best Albums for 2020

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  Katie Melua Live

  Foo Fighters Live & New LP

  Is The USA Nightmare Over?

  Jim White MISFIT’S JUBILEE

  Download Back in 2021!

  On Barbra Streisand

  Roger Waters Us + Them Review

  Skunk Anansie 2021 Tour

  CHERNOBYL By Serhii Plokhy

  Metallica’s S&M2 Review

  Barbara Thompson @ The BBC

  Delicate Sound Of Thunder

  The State We’re In…

  Welcome Back! But To What?

  What Have We Done?

  A RISK TOO FAR

  New Album Reviews

  Montreux Jazz Fest at Home!

  Photojournalism Hero

  Samantha Fish Live

  Gill Landry Live in Chester

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  David Gilmour’s Interview

  Snow Patrol Live in Manchester

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  Gomez Live in Manchester

  John Lennon Interview

  My 100 Favourite Albums

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Emily Barker Live in Manchester

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

  Grandaddy Live

  Laura Marling Live

  Martha Wainwright Live

  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Beverley Knight Live

  Ludovico Einaudi Live

  Roger Waters on Amused To Death


USA Inauguration 2021

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Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology. She has written for the New York Times and has two books forthcoming with Penguin Random House.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, she began writing at only a few years of age. Now her words have won her invitations to the Obama White House and to perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and others. Amanda has performed multiple commissioned poems for CBS This Morning and she has spoken at events and venues across the country, including the Library of Congress and Lincoln Center. She has received a Genius Grant from OZY Media, as well as recognition from Scholastic Inc., YoungArts, the Glamour magazine College Women of the Year Awards, and the Webby Awards. She has written for the New York Times newsletter The Edit and penned the manifesto for Nike’s 2020 Black History Month campaign. She is the recipient of the Poets & Writers Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States. In 2017 UrbanWord and the Library of Congress named her the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States.

Amanda Gorman has become the youngest poet ever to perform at a presidential inauguration, calling for “unity and togetherness” in her self-penned poem. The writer and performer, who became the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, followed in the footsteps of such famous names as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

Gorman described herself as “a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother [who] can dream of becoming president, only to find her self reciting for one.”

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The Poem

When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.

We’ve braved the belly of the beast.

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,

and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.

And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.

Somehow we do it.

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken,

but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

‘Never been more optimistic’: speeches, songs and celebrations cap Biden’s inauguration day – as it happened

Read more

And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,

but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.

We are striving to forge our union with purpose.

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.

We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:

That even as we grieved, we grew.

That even as we hurt, we hoped.

That even as we tired, we tried.

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.

Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.

If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.

It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.

Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

This effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust,

for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption.

We feared it at its inception.

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,

but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.

So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’

We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be:

A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.

We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.

Our blunders become their burdens.

But one thing is certain:

If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change, our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.

With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.

We will rise from the golden hills of the west.

We will rise from the wind-swept north-east where our forefathers first realized revolution.

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.

We will rise from the sun-baked south.

We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.

In every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country,

our people, diverse and beautiful, will emerge, battered and beautiful.

When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.

The new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

https://www.theamandagorman.com/

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