Hello. I’m Jacob Sam-La Rose, and here’s what you need to know: I’m a published poet; I devise and facilitate projects for schools and other institutions, emerging poets, teachers, literature professionals and other creatives; I’m a geek for web technology and productivity; and I’m pretty handy with a camera. I exist in a few different places online – this particular site serves as my lifestream, an overview of what I’ve been doing on the interwebs. The content you see here is aggregated from:
- Jacobsamlarose.com (my professional face)
- Miscellany (my personal blog)
- Forthen&Evermore (my photoblog)
- Twitter (text messages to the world)
If any of the above sparks your interest, don’t be shy in saying hello (mail at jacobsamlarose dot com).
And there are many ways to come undone
—some more exquisite than others. Ask Eve,
she will tell you apple-lust unwrapped her
left her cold and with a word for shiver.
Lot’s wife is witness that a backward glance
is enough—nostalgia pillared her. But,
I imagine the somewhat greater deeds:
picture the Red Sea unstitched like a braid;
the lion’s den, its many hungry mouths;
Isaac’s bewildered screams: why, daddy, why?
And what terrible choice to peel back doubt
like a bandage, without question or lack
to say Here am I, to renounce relief:
step in, seize the knife, and to know belief.
(via The 2River View)
“A Small Needful Fact Is that Eric Garner worked for some time for the Parks and Rec. Horticultural…”
Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.”
- Ross Gay is a gardener and teacher living in Bloomington, Indiana. His book, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, is available from University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015.
- Ernest Hemingway (via seols)
- Philip Levine, The Art of Poetry No. 39 (via bostonpoetryslam)
- Charles W. Chesnutt, from The Marrow of Tradition (via the-final-sentence)
“Begin with something in your range. Then write it as a secret. I’d be paralyzed if I thought I had…”
- Louise Erdrich, via http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6055/the-art-of-fiction-no-208-louise-erdrich
“The hours between 12am and 6am have a funny habit of making you feel like you’re either on top of…”
- Beau Taplin || the hours between. (via exoticwild)
- Helene Cixous, The Book of Promethea (via stealingintolanguage)
“you have chosen a profession in which you put communication out into the world. In effect, you are…”
- Michael Bierut on The Great Discontent (TGD)
“Is there another form of communication besides email where the acknowledged goal is to hide all of…”
- Doomed to Repeat It — The Message — Medium
Patience Agbabi at the International International Literature Showcase, Norwich, 2015.
Had the wheels stolen from my bike a few weeks ago. Welcome back to public transport.
“In the last couple of years, I’ve been going through a process of un-education: removing all the bad…”
In the last couple of years, I’ve been going through a process of un-education: removing all the bad habits that school somehow implanted in me:
- Being afraid of failure or embarrassment
- Going after prizes and prestigious awards
- Avoiding stuff I didn’t know how to do
- Trying to get answers before fully considering the problem
- Being uncomfortable with not knowing
One of the signal qualities of children at play is their fearlessness. They’ll experiment. Falling over is fine.
Our system should be producing more adults with this same fearlessness, who go after what they really want from the start in rational, systematic ways. Right now, we tend to produce ‘answer-centred’ people who are terrified of doing things wrong.”
- Things I Despised About My Education— Nabeel Qureshi
“Altschmerz n. weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had—the same boring flaws and…”
- The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: Altschmerz
- Edward Hirsch on this week’s Poets Glossary term. (via poetsorg)
“Among writers, there’s a cultural trope of love-hate for the starving artist/ adjunct existence – we…”
Among writers, there’s a cultural trope of love-hate for the starving artist/ adjunct existence – we talk about creative writing pedagogy and the naïve but lovable things our students say, and in our way we love the fringes of the great universities on which we develop as teachers and draw our paychecks. But just because we’ve made the choice to be artists doesn’t mean that we have to take whatever the world gives us. In a world where nothing is what we, or our teachers, could have expected, we must be unsentimental. “Kill your darlings,” goes the old saw. This must apply to the careers that keep us afloat as well as to our writing.
Whether we like it or not, today’s academic job market will create a huge cohort of professional-quality writers and artists who cannot enter that market. In fifty years, this generation of artists could be remembered as the artists who created the 21st century “blended career” – not the New York Times bestsellers or the art market’s 1%, nor merely hobbyists, but rather people who found fulfilling ways to feed themselves while reminding the world that art is not a joke.”
Via MFA Day Job.
Note to self: when you get a spare minute, continue to revise that document on paths of progression and career development for poets and writers…
Currently hosting #pbhfinals2015 this year’s Poetry by Heart finals. Ebony just read my poem ‘A Life in Dreams’. Still haven’t got used to hearing one of my poems presented in a national recitation competition. Good job, Ebony!
London (abstract edition, 06:25 remix)
“Throughout my years as student and professor, I have been most inspired by those teachers who have…”
- bell hooks; Teaching To Transgress
I’m currently in the middle of a manic period. A residential creative writing week at Arvon with a group of Year 6 students, followed by a day in Birmingham offering teachers tools and techniques for working with poetry (via the Princes Teaching institute), back to London to lead my Spoken Word Education seminar at Goldsmiths, then off to Amsterdam to support Poetry Circle Nowhere in constructing a development programme for their poet-educators, then back to London for another Princes Teaching Institute training day. And all the while, staying on top of the todo list, the email inbox, fielding phone calls, chasing up open loops, putting out fires, liasing with doctors on my mother’s behalf, talking people down from summits of stress, keeping everything moving forward, holding it all together…
Yesterday, two milestones. A showcase and anthology launch at the lead training centre (Cardinal Pole School) for the Spoken Word Education Programme, and a showcase/launch to celebrate the end of another year of Barbican Young Poets. If you’re a creative freelancer, you’ll know that our work often moves through emotional peaks and troughs. While you’re making/managing, the work often draws on you. But when you hit a milestone, when you can look back and see what it is that you’ve done; you can appreciate the balance.
It occurs to me that one of the key indicators of success in most (if not all) of my projects is love. Sometimes that love has to be nurtured from a small spark. But when it’s there, and it’s true, beautiful things happen. Love, and all its constituent parts: mutual respect, communication, interdependence, responsibility, forgiveness, care for each other’s well-being… So many of the poets I work with engage with the darker aspects of experience through their writing. But that darkness is transformed through love, even if only of the craft. And that love is manifest in the spaces we make and share.
Perhaps we can say our best work comes from love. And this is the kind of work I’m happiest doing.