Jacob Sam-La Rose’s poetry has been characterised as vivid, masterly and carefully structured. His collection ‘Breaking Silence‘ was shortlisted for both a Forward Poetry prize and the Aldeburgh Fenton award, and is a set text for the OCR English Language and Literature A Level (EMC). He is widely recognised as an indefatigable facilitator, mentor and supporter of young and emerging poets. He lives in London, England.


Jacob Sam-La Rose’s writing has explored and interrogated Black-British/British-Caribbean cultural identity, ritual and tradition, hybridity, science fiction, coding and aspects of popular culture (drawing particuarly upon comic book narratives, gaming and contemporary electronica). His poems and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Wasafiri, In Their Own Words (Salt, 2012), Poetry by Heart (Penguin, 2014), and more.


Jacob has been commissioned to produce work for the National Gallery, the BBC, Nitro (Black Music Theatre Co-Operative) and International PEN. He’s toured with the British Council and featured at a range of international festivals and venues, including the Leipzig Buchmesse, the Urb Festival (Helsinki), the Cuirt festival (Galway) and the Gwendolyn Brooks Black Writers’ Conference (Chicago). He’s been positioned as a writer-in-residence at Raffles Institution (Singapore), has worked with the Ministry of Education in Malaysia to train English teachers, and has worked with writers in Riga, Kuala Lumpur, Gaborone and Rio De Janeiro. His work has been translated into Portuguese, Latvian, French and Dutch.


Keenly committed to other voices beyond his own, Jacob works with poetry in educational and participatory settings, supporting paths of progression for “emerging” and developing writers. He co-founded Malika’s Poetry Kitchen (alongside Malika Booker and Roger Robinson) and developed the Roundhouse Poetry programme and Summer Slam series before moving on to establish Barbican Young Poets and Burn After Reading. He’s recognised as a leading figure within the UK’s youth poetry slam movement, having served as Artistic Director for the London Teenage Poetry SLAM, Apples & Snakes’ Word Cup, Shake the Dust and Shot from the Lip.


Artistic Director / Lead Facilitator – Barbican Young Poets
Artistic Director – Barbican Junior Poets
Artistic Director / Course Leader – Spoken Word Education Programme (Goldsmiths)
Professor of Poetry – BA Performance and Creative Enterprise (Guildhall)
Poetry Editor – flipped eye publishing.