About Jacob Sam-La Rose

Jacob’s poems are interested in everything – there’s no telling where we’ll be taken, from a life in dreams to thinking about the universe, gravity and faith. Jacob’s poems think deeply, there’s a quiet but hard edge to the way they always want to investigate and refuse to accept things as they are without digging a little further.

Jacob’s poems can be like daydreams – spaces where we’re allowed to imagine what if, and then follow his careful language into places we didn’t think we’d ever visit, picturing ourselves in other people’s shoes at difficult or joyful moments and even finding ourselves feeling sorry for a lightbulb because it’s “too hungry” to be allowed to stay on.

Jacob’s reading of his work allows the mostly free verse poems to sing, his regular use of assonance and alliteration brought out by his careful voice and his ability to slow the pace and make us ponder at one moment or let his voice get carried away by the energy and surprise of his imagery at another. Listen to ‘Faith’ to hear how he manages to make us feel the silence of the girl and the thrill of what her first words will be.

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Jacob’s poems are often in free verse but he uses alliteration, assonance and slant rhyme to help make them sound fresh and musical. A poem like ‘A Life In Dreams’ is full of memorable imagery packed with assonance, with lines like ‘the front of a car crumpled/like denim pulled fresh from the wash’ helping us to see, and hear, the poem come to life.

Jacob was born in London and said that since he was a young boy he was a big reader, always digging around in the library for everything from novels to sci-fi and horror. He started writing lyrics and poetry while he was still a teenager and has gone on to write, teach and perform all over the world.

As well as publishing poems Jacob works as a mentor, teacher and editor and has read everywhere from Helsinki in Finland to Chicago in the United States. He has founded lots of spoken word and other literary events, led youth slam poetry competitions and helped all sorts of writers – from keen emerging poets to people struggling - to get started.

Jacob is also a whizz with coding, and has worked in web development.

Jacob's recording for The Poetry Archive was made in 2014.

Featured in the Archive


Selected Bibliography

Breaking Silence, Bloodaxe, 2011

Penguin's Poems for Love, Penguin, 2009

City State - New London Poetry, Penned in the Margins, 2009

Communion, Flipped Eye, 2006


2006 Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Selection

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