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).
“You don’t get to decide the truth. Other people have their own experiences, just as valid. This is…”
When we teach poetry, we often encourage poets to deepen their internal focus or extend their technical range and critical faculties. How often do we encourage people to engage with other people, other perspectives? To not just look beyond themselves, but to actually attend to other people, real people, in a meaningful and authentic way?
And name you my country.
I throw all my dictionaries in the fire,
And name you my language.”
- Nizar Qabbani (via kathleenjoy)
“I showed you a picture I took that day using the camera that leaks light in a way that makes me want…”
- Time Expanding the Air Forcibly— Sam Ross
“Art is very good at capturing what’s lacking in our life. You can tell what’s missing from a person…”
- “The more enemies Alain De Botton makes in the art world, the better off for all of us.” | gapingvoid (via sparkspring)
“It’s even more complicated than this, because within the two extreme primary identity states, there…”
Work: Surviving the Arts | [PANK] by Scott Pinkmountain
This, and: “Once you’ve established the partitioning, work.”
"I have no shrewd advice to offer developing writers about this business of snatching time and space to work. I do not have anything profound to offer mother-writers or worker-writers except to say that it will cost you something. Anything of value is going to cost you something."
—Toni Cade Bambara, author, filmmaker, feminist, professor and social activistAll. this. truth. (cc:grownladynotebook)
Sunday afternoon, and no rest for the wicked…
- Kamau Brathwaite (via mountstnobody)
“I would like to be remembered more for being a good person who helped others advance themselves as…”
- Jon Setzen on The Great Discontent (TGD)
A 100-year artwork. Mmm.
Yes, we do our work day by day. We build monuments to our creative obsessions and preoccupations brick by brick. How many of us are invested in the kind of vision that might not come to fruition in our lifetimes— something that extends so far beyond us? How many of us think on a scale that even approaches this?
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I…”
- Meryl Streep, via I no longer have patience | Ioadicaeu’s Blog
“Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview,…”
Yes to this.
What Lens Do You Use? | The Story of Telling - Bernadette Jiwa
I’m contemplating getting back into photography again. As in: with a camera, not just the iPhone. If you were ever familiar with my photoblog, you’ll know that it’s become an archive for images I’ve captured at the poetry event associated with one of the communities of young/emerging poets I work with. That aside, I’m crushing on a full frame Sony A7 for as the next vehicle for my on-again-off-again love affair with taking pictures.
My favourite camera to date has probably been a Bronica ETRSi. Apart from the quality of the images, the physical sensation of framing a shot through the top-down viewfinder and releasing the shutter was… well, I’ve never got anywhere close to it with any digital camera I’ve owned. My current goto is a Sony NEX 5N, which is capable of pretty darn fine images, particularly bearing in mind its size. But I had the opportunity to hold an A7 over the weekend, and I was reminded of shooting film all over again. Could be time to EBay some camera gear to justify the expenditure…
Of course, as the quote reminds, none of that matters if I’m not doing the work of getting out into the world and taking pictures in the first place.
(Nod to LazarusDodge
"There’s something about the cosmic perspective, which for some people is enlightening and for other people it’s terrifying. For those who are terrified by it, they’re here on earth and they have a certain self-identity, and then they learn that earth is tiny and we’re in this void of interplanetary space and then there’s a star that we call the Sun and that’s kind of average and there’s a hundred billion other stars in a galaxy. And our galaxy, the Milky Way, is one of 50 or 100 billion other galaxies in the universe. And with every step, every window that modern astrophysics has opened to our mind, the person who wants to feel like they’re the center of everything ends up shrinking. And for some people they might even find it depressing, I assert that if you were depressed after learning and being exposed to the perspective, you started your day with an unjustifiably large ego. You thought more highly of yourself than in fact the circumstances deserved."
“So many times, we make decisions about who we are – who we want to be, who we aspire to be, what we…”
So many times, we make decisions about who we are – who we want to be, who we aspire to be, what we aspire to do – based on what we believe are our own self-imposed limitations, not those of the world. And we live inside those self-imposed limitations, without any sense that we can actually expand [them] if we let ourselves.
I don’t think it’s a matter of overcoming [our] fears – fears are fears, and we have a reptilian brain which we can’t simply turn on and turn off… It is critical to live despite those fears – if you’re waiting for the fears to go away, they’re not. You have to make a decision that you want [what you want] more than you want to be held back or self-protected by those fears.”
- A magnificent conversation with Debbie Millman, who is an incessant source of wisdom on how to live a good life and how to muster the courage necessary for a creative career. (via explore-blog)
I’m no master magician but I do know how wonder feels. There are many good things about magic and I feel that it’s my job, as a parent, to make those things so ridiculously awesome that my kid never loses the feeling of awe that the world can provide.
Magic is a predecessor to science. It provides hope where there is the mundane.
"Daddy, will you still have magic when you get old?"
"As long as you believe in daddy’s magic, I will have magic"
"Even when you get tired?"
"Especially when I get tired"”
I’m not yet a parent, but this is stored in my parenthood file. I’m also all about this for all of the young people I work with. Never lose the feeling of awe. With this in mind, you might say poetry = the flavour of magic that I practise.
JB: How do you respond as an artist to someone, even— I'm assuming these people are your teachers— even if someone is your teacher, saying you need to write about this, you need to do this, and then you sit down and do your work, does that mean you necessarily would do that, or... I mean, a lot of writers I know see their work rising organically from the page. How do you make sense of those forces?
CMB: I believe in it, in the organics of poetry, and all that is fine and well, but I think that these poets, particularly these people— Thomas, Al and Toi— asking these things out of me, you know, whether they felt it was need or not, I discovered the need in myself to write through these things, if not just about them.