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Foreword

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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:

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

Apr 13

citiesofsound: “I’m suffering from PDF alibi syndrome. The habit of downloading and saving PDFs in…

citiesofsound:

“I’m suffering from PDF alibi syndrome. The habit of downloading and saving PDFs in the vain hope that one day I will get around to reading them. It’s not a technical problem at all, or one of lack of time, but rather that I’ve been seduced by the lure of information.”

- PDF alibi syndrome, Pat Thomson (2015)

May 25

“I go around giving my students permission to be who they are, and there aren’t enough people doing…”

“I go around giving my students permission to be who they are, and there aren’t enough people doing that,” he said. “You learn to write by believing in who you are.”

- The Six Best Tips From ‘On Writing Well’ — William Zinsser
May 18

“I want to do good in the world not just by sitting at my desk writing”

“I want to do good in the world not just by sitting at my desk writing”

- Sir Andrew Motion
May 17

“Darwin taught us that learning is the survival mechanism we use to adapt to constantly changing…”

“Darwin taught us that learning is the survival mechanism we use to adapt to constantly changing environments. Inside the microenvironment of the brain, that means forging new connections between cells to relay information. When we learn something, whether it’s a French word or a salsa step, cells morph in order to encode that information; the memory physically becomes part of the brain.”

- Miracle Grow for Your Brain
May 17

Many thanks to Katie Hale, New Writing Cumbria and Eden Arts for…



Many thanks to Katie Hale, New Writing Cumbria and Eden Arts for hosting me in Penrith this weekend. Katie’s a former Barbican Young Poet, now heading up New Writing Cumbria as an arts administrator while continuing to push her writing (musical to be produced next month; poetry pamphlet in progress…)

May 17

“Gibbs is influenced by the philosophy of writers such as Merleau-Ponty,  who defined perception as…”

“Gibbs is influenced by the philosophy of writers such as Merleau-Ponty,  who defined perception as an organism’s entire bodily reaction to its environment. In an experiment by Gibbs, used to illustrate his theory of embodied cognition, participants were taken out into a field and shown the location of an object, some distance from them. They were then blindfolded. The participants were read two short texts, both of which used the familiar conceptual metaphor of a relationship as a journey. In one version, things were ‘moving in the right direction’ whereas in the other, the relationship had 'stalled’, and the people were 'moving apart’ rather than 'moving forwards together’. The participants were then asked to walk forwards to where they thought the object they’d previously been shown was. With remarkable consistency, participants overshot the mark after hearing the first, positive text and stopped short of it after hearing the second. Gibbs used this to illustrate the ways in which our understanding of many concepts is intimately related to our physical experiences (for example, the way we interpret a word like 'stand’ with its many literal and metaphorical meanings has a lot to do with our bodies and the way we acquire language.”

- (178) From Summit to Stanza: The Trouble With Mountaineering Poetry | Helen Mort
May 16

Train to Cumbria. Looking forward to catching up with Katie…



Train to Cumbria. Looking forward to catching up with Katie Hale. Plus a workshop with local poets. Plus a gig in aid of Nepal. Plus Cumbria.

May 16

“First you must know that the whole of the physical world floats in each of the senses at the same…”

“First you must know that the whole of the physical world floats in each of the senses at the same time. Each of them reveals to us a different aspect of the kingdom of change. But none of them reveals the unnameable stillness that unites them. At the heart of change it lies unseeing, unhearing, unfeeling, unchanging, holding within itself the beginning and the end. It is ours. It is our only possession.”

- W.S. Merwin
(via beingblog)
May 15

The You Museum

The You Museum:

“The You Museum is a new online gallery and series of artworks by Famous New Media Artist Jeremy Bailey. Using a few simple questions The You Museum curates personalized exhibitions that are delivered to you via banners on the websites you visit most. Using various retargeting technologies these exhibitions reach you organically across ninety-eight percent of the internet. And if you like your personalized artwork, you can buy it by simply clicking a banner, sending you to an e-commerce storefront where you can complete your acquisition. The You Museum reclaims commercial space on behalf of the arts in a way that establishes itself as the leading platform for collaborative self-expression.”

May 14

“All I want to say” he continued, “is that the wonder is still there.” Whereupon, he…”

“All I want to say" he continued, “is that the wonder is still there.” Whereupon, he simply walked away.”

-

Robert Irwin (via Lawrence Weschler)

Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees

May 13

“Take some material. Move it around, play with it, absorb & synthesize. Add structure,…”

“Take some material. Move it around, play with it, absorb & synthesize. Add structure, reinforcing the good parts and ripping out the bad bits. Patch up the holes that are left. Give it lyricism and grace and elegance. Make it for an audience, shaped so that they can understand it, the way you understand it.”

- Allen Tan is…playing around
May 12

squigglydigg: glintglimmergleam:a lot of prescriptive linguists (the fancy term for snotty english…

squigglydigg:

glintglimmergleam:

a lot of prescriptive linguists (the fancy term for snotty english majors, faux-talgic baby boomers, racist gatekeepers, and other subdivisions of the language police) like to shame The Youth for lazy capitalization and punctuation, but the interesting thing is that most young ppl i know who build their lives around texting are actually pretty damn deliberate about their language choices

“u” and “you” show degrees of closeness w/ your partner; using punctuation at the end of a reply text indicates tone; capitalizing certain words in the middle of the sentence is for Emphasis; sometimes we’re sloppy and sometimes we make mistakes but there is a real grammar to internet communication because by “grammar” i mean a “code of language rules that society agrees upon in order to create meaning”, and that is the opposite of being lazy

(tumblr absolutely has such a grammar and you can tell when someone’s not fluent)

the old guard is passionately defending a pure linguistic territory that we don’t want anymore, it’s not useful enough for 21st century relationships dependent on the subtleties of texts

#This actually quite true  #like my Mum never understands why I’M OFTEN TALKING IN ALL CAPS WITH MY FRIENDS  #and I can never properly explain why  #because it means more than just yelling  #it can be any range of things depending on the context and the person I’m talking with  #we might be excited about something or trying emphasize something or just showing solidarity with one another  #it’s incredible I can never quite explain it

keeping Izzy’s tags because they’re so true.

May 11

“We look. We listen. We ask questions. We see patterns. We connect. We ask more questions. We offer…”

We look. We listen. We ask questions. We see patterns. We connect. We ask more questions. We offer honest appraisals and observational insights. We unearth unseen resources! We trust instinct and intuition. We honor coincidence, metaphor and the holographic principle. We recognize harmony, balance and congruency. We are eagle-eyed to inconsistencies and disconnects. We believe unequivocally in truth-telling and authentic gestures. We are moved by acts of generosity, vulnerability and courage. We revere transparency, clear intention and full integrity. We seek to embody our values in work, life and play. We pursue humor, pleasure and beauty. We delight in energetic synergy.

We do it because we love it.



- About | Armbrust & Co.
May 10

“I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction’s job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb…”

“I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction’s job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I guess a big part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves. … We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside.”

- David Foster Wallace, An Interview With David Foster Wallace (via ubuwaits, viafrank-deactivated20120702)
May 9

“There’s no such thing as a chair – if you just lost your spouse, it’s an empty chair….”

“There’s no such thing as a chair – if you just lost your spouse, it’s an empty chair. Everything in our sensory world comes through our mind and heart and looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes different given our emotional state.”

- via Draft Journal
May 8

“People say to me, ‘Oh, you’re so prolific.’ God, it doesn’t feel like it — nothing like it. But, you…”

“People say to me, ‘Oh, you’re so prolific.’ God, it doesn’t feel like it — nothing like it. But, you know, you put an ounce in a bucket each day, you get a quart.””

- John McPhee (via austinkleon)
May 7

portraits-of-america: “I’m from Liberia, but I grew up in…



portraits-of-america:

“I’m from Liberia, but I grew up in Kosovo.”
“How did that change affect you?”
“I learned how to be a black person. When I went to Kosovo, I was one of the first black people they had ever seen. I was the only black kid in my school. I had to get to know myself and become comfortable in the situation. Now I can talk to anyone.”

Boston, MA

May 6

“It was a tremendously painful thing to do, especially in the beginning. It’s like in the everyday…”

“It was a tremendously painful thing to do, especially in the beginning. It’s like in the everyday world, you’re just plugged into all the possibilities. Every time you get bored, you plug yourself in somewhere: you call somebody up, you pick up a magazine, a book, you go to a movie, anything. And all of that becomes your identity, the way in which you’re alive. You identify yourself in terms of all that. Well, what was happening to me as I was on my way to Ibiza was that I was pulling all those plugs out, one at a time: books, language, social contacts. And what happens at a certain point as you get down to the last plugs, it’s like the Zen thing of having no ego: it becomes scary, it’s like maybe you’re going to lose yourself. And boredom then becomes extremely painful. You really are of your own being. But when you get them all pulled out, a little period goes by, and then it’s absolutely serene, it’s terrific. It just becomes really pleasant, because you’re out, you’re all the way out.”

- Robert Irwin in Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (via ubuwaits)
May 5

Fear and Trembling, Lauren K. Alleyne

After Kierkegaard

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)

May 4

“A Small Needful Fact Is that Eric Garner worked for some time for the Parks and Rec.  Horticultural…”

“A Small Needful Fact
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.
(via blackcontemporaryart)
May 3