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Foreword

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Hello. I’m Jacob Sam-La Rose. I write. I perform. I devise and facilitate projects for schools and other institutions, emerging poets, teachers, literature professionals and other creatives. I also geek for creative digital tech. I exist in a few different places online— this site serves as an aggregator, an overview of the various different strands of my web-based activity. The content you see here is drawn from:

If any of the above sparks your interest, don’t be shy in saying hello (mail at jacobsamlarose dot com).

Apr 13

“The absurdity of that is that a writer is always working as long as they’re awake. The mind is…”

“The absurdity of that is that a writer is always working as long as they’re awake. The mind is always spinning and looking for things to grab on to that it can make a story with. It spins and jumps and glares and claws. No peace for you, host creature.”

- Warren Ellis
Jul 28

“I call a theorist someone who constructs a general system, either deductive or analytical, and…”

“I call a theorist someone who constructs a general system, either deductive or analytical, and applies it to different fields in a uniform way. That isn’t my case. I’m an experimenter in the sense that I write in order to change myself and in order not to think the same thing as before.”

- Michel Foucault (via ubuwaits)
Jul 26

“Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I…”

“Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation.”

-

Bruce Lee, via Refspace

Dear Poet— apply this thinking.

Jul 24

tonistuart: @malikabooker & @jacobsamlarose doing final…



tonistuart:

@malikabooker & @jacobsamlarose doing final prep before our Barbican Poets performance at #WalthamstowGardenParty #poetry #London #spokenwordeducation #

Jul 20

Marian Bantjes’s criteria for success in her work

Does it bring joy (in the viewer as well as myself)
Is there a sense of wonder?
Is it unusual? (I want people to see things that they maybe haven’t seen before)
Bonus point: is it funny? (Not a gag; things that make you laugh without actually laughing out loud)

“What I’m really aiming for is a connection with the viewer on a level that is outside our regular … communication, outside the level of the message that one is trying to deliver.”

via [Design Matters](https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/design-matters-debbie-millman/id328074695?mt=2&i=346995408)

Jul 15

“Another way to think of restlessness: as a form of ambition. Unsatisfied with the given—the usual…”

“Another way to think of restlessness: as a form of ambition. Unsatisfied with the given—the usual explanations, the usual goals for and trappings of a life—there are those who push past the given, are willing to enter into uncertainty—to take a risk—in order to get something presumably superior and/or preferable to “the old life.” I don’t mean corporate ambitions, the kind that can lead to and increase in money and power and material possessions—I mean the quest for meaning, for heightened feeling, for expanded vision, even if that should mean that we arrive at what disturbs, leaving us more unsettled, less at rest than we had been. This, I would argue, is the artist’s sensibility. And I’ll point out that it’s not a perverse desire for being disturbed; it’s instead a recognition that growth can’t happen without disturbance, and a realistic understanding of the world as a place where pleasure and its opposite coexist—the artist refuses to ignore it, or perhaps more accurately the artist is incapable of ignoring it, because of a commitment to a knowledge that is absolute, entire, and at last elusive.”

- From Carl Phillips, The Art of Daring (via John Estes: Works & Days)
Jul 14

“If you’ve ever pondered what trees think about life’s major issues, the city of Melbourne has come…”

If you’ve ever pondered what trees think about life’s major issues, the city of Melbourne has come up with an elegant solution – you can email them and find out.

The city council has devised an interactive urban forest map that provides individual data on each of the 70,000 trees that line the streets and parks of central Melbourne.

Each tree is assigned an identification number, which allows you to email it. Ostensibly this is to report damaged branches, but emailed expressions of tree devotion have been received from admirers



-

[Melbourne’s trees bombarded with emailed love letters](http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/29/city-of-melbourne-prepares-to-see-some-emails-lovely-as-its-trees)

This is either a poem or a workshop challenge. Possibly both. Via [Roberto Greco](http://robertogreco.tumblr.com)

Jul 13

On the road again. Running workshops at a school in Dorchester…



On the road again. Running workshops at a school in Dorchester tomorrow. I’ve promised myself the rest of the week off— no professional appointments until the weekend (Walthamstow Garden Party on Saturday, featuring Barbican Young Poets and Barbican Junior Poets). I’m planning to slow down for summer. More time for deep thinking instead of grinding from deadline to deadline, trying to keep all the juggling balls in the air. Looking forward to it. Until then, there’s this train, miles to travel, poems to tease out…

Jul 12

“I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me.”

“I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me.”

- Jennifer Niven, from All the Bright Places (via the-final-sentence)
Jul 12

explore-blog: Stop what you’re doing and watch this teenage…



explore-blog:

Stop what you’re doing and watch this teenage girl own her dad in a beatboxing battle. It’s been said that “music is the sound wave of the soul” – beatboxing surely is its pulse.

(HT Jad Abumrad)

Jul 10

“I read somewhere that our brains are wired for poetry because it is more useful to see a stick and…”

“I read somewhere that our brains are wired for poetry because it is more useful to see a stick and think snake, than see a snake and think stick. Our genes do not reward us for being nonchalant about the world around us. This is true, although sometimes it is useful to see a stick and think stick, and also to see a snake and think snake.”

- “Every Alphabet the Zoo Inside” by Emily Vizzo | Blackbird v14n1 | #features
Jul 10

Li-Young Lee on Breath

“I’ve been thinking about something for a long time, and I keep noticing that most human speech—if not all human speech—is made with the outgoing breath. This is the strange thing about presence and absence. When we breath in, our bodies are filled with nutrients and nourishment. Our blood is filled with oxygen, our skin gets flush; our bones get harder—they get compacted. Our muscles get toned and we feel very present when we’re breathing in. The problem is, that when we’re breathing in, we can’t speak. So presence and silence have something to do with each other.

The minute we start breathing out, we can talk; speech is made with the outgoing, exhaled breath. The problem that this poses, though, is that as we exhale, nutrients are leaving our bodies; our bones get softer, our muscles get flaccid, our skin starts to loosen. You could think of that as the dying breath. So as we breath out, we have less and less presence.

When we make verbal meaning, we use the dying breath. In fact, the more I say, the more my meaning is disclosed. Meaning grows in opposite ratio to presence or vitality.”

–via this interview

Via treymoody

Jul 8

Amal Osman works with me. She’s also one of the people…



Amal Osman works with me. She’s also one of the people responsible for this rather handsome collection of Sudanese literature…

Jul 7

“In my opinion, what goes on in poems should always be too complex and too interesting for complete…”

“In my opinion, what goes on in poems should always be too complex and too interesting for complete resolution. When I was in law school, my trial practice professor stressed that you should never ask a witness a question to which you don’t know the answer. Just the reverse is true in poetry. If you have an answer up your sleeve, the poem is likely to seem over-determined, too tidy.”

- An Interview with Susan Settlemyre Williams - by Kimberly L. Becker - Eclectica Magazine v13n1
Jul 7

“Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my…”

“Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s den, and the Tower of Babel. People remember these metaphors because they are so vivid you can’t get free of them and that’s what kids like in school. They read about rocket ships and encounters in space, tales of dinosaurs. All my life I’ve been running through the fields and picking up bright objects. I turn one over and say, Yeah, there’s a story.”

- Ray Bradbury, via [Paris Review, The Art Of Fiction 203](http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6012/the-art-of-fiction-no-203-ray-bradbury)
Jul 6

kathleenjoy: Richard Siken



kathleenjoy:

Richard Siken

Jul 4

museumuesum: Peter Fischli and David WeissHow to Work Better,…



museumuesum:

Peter Fischli and David Weiss

How to Work Better, 1991

silkscreen on paper, framed, 20 x 27 ½ in.

Jul 3

“#job”instagram.com Via Keenan Cummings



“#job”
instagram.com

Via Keenan Cummings

Jul 3

Courage: a few wise words from Milton Glaser

“My own definition of art is that it is a survival device, that it is a device to help the human species to survive. If it were not, it would not have persisted so long in human culture. So you ask the question, well what is it that artists do that helps the culture survive, or what can it do? And all it can do, in my judgment, is make you attentive. Art is like a meditation, which is that in the presence of art, you become more aware of what is real. And that distinction between what is illusion and what is real is a very necessary distinction in human experience…

Do your work. There isn’t anything else. I tell the story of when I studied with Giorgio Morandi in Bologna in the early 50s. He’d never talk about art. But if you took a copper plate and were about to put it in the acid and etch it without knowing what would happen, he would always say, Coraggio. Courage. And that’s what you have to have, you have to basically be willing to plunge into life and do your work.”

http://www.bluecanvas.com/magazine/articles/conversation-with-milton-glaser via alicekatem

Jul 2

What’s the kinetic quality of the group piece? How does it…



What’s the kinetic quality of the group piece? How does it move through its ideas/themes/images/epiphan[y/ies]? How can you conduct/score/orchestrate a dynamic in that movement?

Jul 1