Discover our Amanda Gorman MasterClass review, where we explain what you can learn and if it’s worth your time and money.
How amazing would it be to learn from the best writers in the world? Before MasterClass, you’d have to pay thousands of dollars. This is why I love MasterClass so much – because we can learn directly from our favorite authors, screenwriters, and poets for a fraction of the cost.
I’ve been looking up to Amanda Gorman for a few years now, and when MasterClass recently released her poetry course, I had to try it out. After watching the entire three-and-a-half-hour MasterClass and completing all the assignments in the workbook, I must say it exceeded my expectations.
So if you’re a big fan of poetry, this review is for you. Below, I’ll share my thoughts about Amanda Gorman’s MasterClass, a few unique lessons I’ve learned, and how to know if it’s for you. Wondering if it’s worth the money? Read our review to find out.
- Who Is Amanda Gorman, and Why Should You Take Her MasterClass?
- Who Is This MasterClass For?
- What Is Amanda Gorman’s MasterClass Like?
- How Much Does the Course Cost?
- What I Learned From Amanda Gorman’s MasterClass
- My Testing Criteria
- Why You Can Trust Me
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Who Is Amanda Gorman, and Why Should You Take Her MasterClass?
Amanda Gorman is an award-winning poet and activist born in Los Angeles, California, on March 7, 1998. You probably know her by her performance at the 2021 presidential inauguration, where she delivered her poem The Hill We Climb.
Gorman has been writing and reciting poems ever since she was a child. In 2015, at just 17 years old, she published the poetry book The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, which is when her career took off. Two years later, she became the first youth poet to open the literary season for the Library of Congress. Gorman still has a long career ahead of her, but this early success makes her the perfect poet to learn from. She knows what it’s like to struggle, be rejected, and overcome adversity.
Who Is This MasterClass For?
Gorman’s Masterclass is tailor-made around writing and performing poetry, making it a must for all poets looking to break into the industry. On top of the unique writing tips, she also talks about how she landed gigs, built relationships with agents, qualified for grants, and published her stories.
After this MasterClass, you’ll know everything you need to start paying your bills with poetry. However, I noticed that Gorman gives a lot of advice that can benefit all writers’ lives, not just poets. She discusses generating ideas, finding your writing voice, and editing your work.
What Is Amanda Gorman’s MasterClass Like?
The Amanda Gorman MasterClass consists of 16 high-definition videos that total three hours and 28 minutes. These videos include:
- Amanda Gorman Teaches Writing and Performing Poetry: 07:53
- Everyone Can Write Poetry: 11:42
- Before Writing, Read: 09:13
- Case Study: Close Reading – “On The Pulse of Morning”: 16:19
- How to Start Writing: 16:15
- Researching Your Poem: 09:37
- Case Study: Brainstorming Plummer: 15:39
- The Writing Toolkit: 18:16
- Finding Your Unique Poetic Voice: 09:02
- Revision, Revision, Revision: 10:56
- Case Study: Editing & Revision: 13:30
- Before Performing, Watch: 09:52
- The Performance Toolkit: 17:54
- Case Study: Performance of Poetry: 21:20
- Building Your Career as a Poet: 08:47
- Breakthrough: Behind the Scenes of “The Hill We Climb”: 12:23
Gorman’s MasterClass also has a class guide summarizing all the lessons in the video courses. I recommend reviewing this class guide while watching the MasterClass. It dives deeper into many of the lessons Gorman mentions in her videos, helping you better understand her teachings. The PDF class guide also has eight assignments, giving you plenty of real-world practice.
How Much Does the Course Cost?
To watch Gorman’s MasterClass, you’ll have to sign up for an annual, all-access MasterClass pass that costs $180. From here, you can access every MasterClass on the platform, including courses by famous writers such as Salman Rushdie, David Baldacci, and Neil Gaiman.
What I Learned From Amanda Gorman’s MasterClass
It took me around six hours to complete Gorman’s MasterClass. I constantly took notes because she always gave me golden nuggets of information. If you’re looking for a quick summary, here are some lessons I’ve learned.
Read Before You Write
According to Gorman, reading is to writers what exercise is to athletes. It helps build your writing muscle. So whenever you’re struggling with writer’s block, whip out your favorite poems and draw inspiration from them.
Gorman is also a big believer in reading everything at least three times because you rarely understand something the first time you read it. This translates well into every area of writing, whether you’re a poet, author, screenwriter, or content writer.
For example, I was writing an article last week and decided to use this trick. I conducted research and read everything three times. The quality of my article improved significantly. It naturally had more depth as I understood the topic better compared to when I was only reading it once.
Use Procrastination to Your Advantage
Gorman also believes that procrastination isn’t something you should fear. Instead, you should use it to your advantage. Gorman generates her best ideas not when sitting down but when she’s procrastinating.
So when you feel like procrastinating, go for a walk, meet up with friends, run some errands, and carry a notebook. As you go through life, you’ll notice there’s inspiration everywhere. I had been using this trick before I watched Gorman’s MasterClass, but I thought it was so powerful that I had to include it.
Research Is Everything
Like any form of writing, research is the foundation of your poem. This is why Gorman spends most of her time conducting research. For example, if you’re writing a poem about nature, you could open an encyclopedia and read what it says about plants. Or, you can watch a few videos about wild animals online. If you’re struggling to get your poem to rhyme, you could open a new tab, search for many words that rhyme, and use it as inspiration when you’re stuck.
Watch Before Performing
Watching videos of your favorite poets performing live can be a fantastic source of inspiration for creating your own performance style. This has been Gorman’s go-to technique since she started performing in front of live audiences. She even used it when preparing to read the inauguration poem.
So if you plan on performing soon, gather a playlist of your favorite performances and watch it before you practice with your friends and family. When the time comes to step on stage, watch your playlist one last time for some last-minute motivation.
Creative Writing Is The Backbone Of Your Career
Many young poets will come up to Gorman and ask for advice on how to build their careers. They’ll often ask about getting an agent and landing gigs. However, her advice is to ignore all that and focus on perfecting your craft first.
You can have the best agents, grants, and publishers, but if your writing needs to be revised, all these things won’t matter. So if you’re a new poet looking to make a name for yourself, build a habit of writing and learning. From here, you can expand your reach beyond the page by joining local writing groups and getting to know other professionals within your industry.
If there are no groups and classes near you, Gorman recommends visiting writing websites such as:
- The Poetry Society of America
- The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities
- The American Literature Association
When you subscribe to these websites, they’ll send you opportunities and grants that you can use to take your career further.
Perform For Free
If you’re trying to get your career off the ground, Gorman suggests finding art shows or movie screenings near you. From here, offer to recite your poem as part of the event. This offers two main benefits:
- You gain exposure
- You build connections within the industry
When you’re performing, get the event organizer to record your performance and post it on your social media channels. This brings you exposure to thousands of people worldwide, increasing your chances of landing paid gigs.
You also build connections with people in the art industry. Let’s say you perform for free two or three times for an art show organizer. After this, they might start paying for your services and recommend you to their friends and business partners. This is a quick way to get paid for your work.
My Testing Criteria
When I researched this piece, I watched all 3 hours and 28 minutes of Gorman’s MasterClass and took around two pages of notes. During this time, I used testing criteria to score the quality of Gorman’s MasterClass:
Ease of learning: While reviewing this MasterClass, the most important factor in how I rated the classes was the ease of learning. More specifically, I looked at how easily Gorman communicated her life lessons.
Knowledge: I also recorded everything I learned, which was a major area I considered when writing this review.
Real-world exercises: I completed the eight exercises in the workbook to understand how well they streamlined my writing process.
Additional tips: I like when a MasterClass offers advice that can benefit all types of writers. So I reviewed how Gorman’s advice could empower other writers like authors, copywriters, screenwriters, and content writers.
Why You Can Trust Me
MasterClass has been an integral part of my growth as a freelance writer. Growing up, I’ve always been obsessed with writing, and around five years ago, I started writing professionally. I wrote software reviews, how-to guides, listicles, and email newsletters.
I learned about MasterClass two years ago, and I’ve been watching the classes weekly ever since. I’ve learned valuable lessons from instructors like Judy Blume, David Baldacci, and James Patterson. This knowledge gave me a good idea of the platform and the quality of teaching.
Amanda Gorman Teaches Writing and Performing Poetry
The Bottom Line
The Amanda Gorman MasterClass is an excellent option for anyone looking to earn a living by writing poems. She shows you how to write powerful poems, conduct research, and discover your writing voice. Gorman also provides tips on kickstarting your career, finding agents, and landing paid gigs.
However, I don’t recommend this MasterClass if you’re not a big fan of poetry. There are much better courses that are tailored toward your style of writing. As an author, you’d want to go for the James Patterson or David Baldacci MasterClass. Or, if you’re into screenwriting, opt for Shonda Rhimes or Werner Herzog. Want to learn more? Read our Masterclass review.
She shows you how to build a career as a poet
Her teaching style is laid back, and the lessons are easy to understand
The assignments give you plenty of practice
Each chapter is less than five minutes long
She gives you insight into her creative process
If you’re not a fan of poetry, it can seem boring
The MasterClass is only three hours and 28 minutes long