Jacob Sam-La Rose was born in London of Guyanese parents. He reads here from his debut collection Breaking Silence, a book which sits on the threshold between the personal and the profound, with eyes on race and dual heritage; masculinity and manhood; definitions and senses of self. Above all, it’s a collection that’s invested in the power of the voice, in the work of giving a voice to issues and entities that would otherwise remain silent. It speaks on divides, from the spaces in between. His work is grounded in a belief that poetry can be a powerful force within a community, and that it’s possible to combine the immediacy of poetry in performance with formal rigour and innovation on the page. This video shows excerpts from his reading at Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Ireland, on 28 April 2012, filmed by Neil Astley. He reads five poems from the book: 'Currency', 'Magnitude', an extract from 'Speechless', 'An Ordinary Prayer' and 'Rapture', from Breaking Silence (Bloodaxe Books, 2011), included here by permission of the publisher.

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