Harnessing the Power of Poetry
Contact The Team
Co-founder & Lead Teaching Artist
Wordlab Arts Founder and Director, Anita is a pioneering Performance poet and visionary Teaching Artist; Co-founder of Scottish Youth Poetry Slam and former Stirling Makar (2012-15). She first trained in theatre as a dancer, then as a community drama facilitator, before developing many successful projects and events.
A published writer, she developed her creative practice utilizing poetry and performance while teaching with Edinburgh Acting School; and it was here that she discovered the transformative impact that poetry and performance could have.
Anita trained with Keith Johnstone in Canada, returning to Scotland to integrate this practice and philosophy into her teaching practice. She has worked with Scottish Heritage, Stirling University, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland, Aberdeen Creative Learning Team, Amnesty International and the Wellcome Trust.
Jacob Sam La-Rose
Jacob Sam-La Rose's writing has been translated into Portuguese, Latvian, French and Dutch, and his poetry collection 'Breaking Silence' is studied at A' level. Beyond his own writing, his work as an artistic director, editor and educator focuses on young people, teachers, emerging poets and others who benefit from an investment in creative expression.
For 20+ years, Sam-La Rose has devised and delivered poetry programmes both independently and in partnership with institutions and agencies, nationally and internationally. For 2020, Sam-La Rose is a poetry professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, poet-in-residence for English Heritage, and directs the Barbican Young Poets programme.
Better known as Ganyamatope (my ancestral family name) my heritage inspires me to make connections with other people
through creativity-inspired learning. I am widely published as a poet and playwright, and short story author.
A storyteller and musician, I am co-founder of Seeds of Thought, a non-funded arts group. I am currently UNESCO artist-in-residence at the University of Glasgow, with research and teaching roles in the school of education and medical school.
Other educational roles are with Glasgow School of Art, University of the West of Scotland, University of Stirling, Newcastle University, and Scottish Book Trust.
Charlie is a poet and prose writer with a broad experience in learning and organisational development. He has published one novel (To Live With What You Are, 2019, Postbox Press) and two poetry collections (Good Morning, 2010 and Tales from the Dartry Mountains, 2020, both Diehard Press).
He is the former Scriever for the Federation of Writers (Scotland), ex-Chair of the Scottish Writers’ Centre, and an experienced workshop facilitator. Charlie is a social work Practice Educator, has worked with the Universities of Stirling and Strathclyde and has developed and delivered training for organisations in the statutory and voluntary sectors
Laura Fyfe lives in central Scotland and is the current Stirling Makar. An education professional with an M.Ed in Educational Enquiry, she has taught in schools for nearly twenty years, facilitated writing workshops for ten and leads RespectMe anti-bullying workshops for professionals. She writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction and mentors writers .
A leading voice in writing communities across Scotland, she is a member of the Board of the Scottish Poetry Library and a Director of the Scottish Writers' Centre. Her non-fiction books Wellspring and Magpie Mind help people defeat procrastination and live more creative lives.
John has a background in the literary arts. Presently Chairperson of Edinburgh Literary Salon he has been facilitating and mentoring poets, writers and promoting events. Wordlab Arts brings together all his talents and wealth of knowledge. He is a firm believer in a holistic approach to education and wellbeing; and the significant benefits that literary arts can bring to all aspects of life and business.
Blythe Robertson works extensively across the public and creative sectors. He led the Scottish Government’s internationally acclaimed work on health literacy. This included presentations with the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, and to conference audiences across the UK and Europe.
He has been a partner of Book Week Scotland and Robert Louis Stevenson Day through his silent reading social event, Hush Hour. He was one of the Scottish Book Trust's "Bookfellas", a project which sought to reverse worrying trends in men not reading creative fiction.
Blythe has worked for many years promoting Scotland’s food culture through Scran Salon and Lunchquest.
His work on the global promotion of the arts has included stints with The Istanbul Review and The Bridge Awards, as well as projects such as Echoes of the City, which geo-located new creative works associated with unique places across Edinburgh city centre.