What? – Testimonials

What Do I Do?

I write and perform poetry, and run workshops to get people writing together. I’ve run workshops in supported living settings, schools, Universities, festivals, art galleries, science events and more…

What do other people say about my work?

“Weird, smart & confident”

 – National Poetry Competition 2016 Judges (about second prize-winning poem, The Desktop Metaphor)

“A haunting piece, its oddity and quiet confidence, somewhere between poignancy and lightness, continued to resonate with me long after reading.”

Sarah Howe, judge of the Winchester Poetry Prize 2017, on first prize-winning poem, Somewhere to Keep the Rain – after Wen Ying-Tsai, Umbrella (1971)

“​I wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you for yesterday. I’ve had such positive feedback from staff and ​a ​sense we’ve created a poetry​ ‘thing’  ​to ​be nurtured and developed. We really enjoyed working with you and hope we work together again”

 – Primary Teacher, near Bristol

“The session was really well organised and run. Caleb was constantly positive and encouraging to all the students, really bringing the less confident students out of their shells. A range of different tasks – fab day! Thank you.”

  – Secondary Teacher (re Bristol City Museum workshop)

“Thanks for all your work on this and the workshops for schools. It’s been really great to see the exhibition interpreted differently and I think the young people have got so much out of it.”

 – M Shed Museum Staff, Bristol

“I feel it has helped me a lot being able to write about some things that I never thought I would be able to write and think about before. Being in a social and supportive environment as well, helped me reflect on a few bits of writing I’d given a go, so thank you very very much for that!”

– Workshop Participant, 2016

“Creative writing has given our service users another avenue to express themselves and it has given several people more confidence in discussing their creative ideas and improving their literacy skills.  You have worked with our service users’ needs; including more of what they have responded well to and adapting tasks for a range of abilities. I would definitely work with you again and am happy to recommend you.”

 – Keystones Mental Health Support, Bristol

“Thank you for a fantastic workshop today. It was the most fun I have had with words in years.”

 – Kelly, workshop participant, University of Bristol

“As you can gather from the feedback, Rebecca Tantony and Caleb Parkin were excellent at the event in Bristol…”

 – Becky Cherriman, organiser of ‘Words in Motion, Bristol, April 2015.

“I found the workshop really enjoyable. What I liked the most was the fact that it made me aware of skills I never thought I had. Caleb was a great workshop leader, he made it fun and interesting, and I felt really comfortable throughout.”

   – Paola, workshop participant

Inspirational to all the children involved and allowed them to express themselves creatively as well as exploring a passion for poetry…The kids were telling their parents about the story at the gate and the parents all seemed very impressed, if a little confused”

   – Clifton Learning Discovery Centre, on storytelling and workshops.

“Nothing on that evening could possibly have hinted at the majesty of Skylab in full flight. Taking to the stage in a white decontamination suit, and with the aid of some ingenious headgear, Skylab took on variously the personae of rat, urban fox and – best of the lot in my opinion – a cockroach, complete with metre-long (at least!), retractable antennae that had those closest to the stage fearing for their eyeballs, as he read a set of thought-provoking poetry on the theme of Vermin, each poem addressed to the human from the creature’s point of view.”

   – Martin Vosper – writer, blogger

“It was a joy sharing a stage with Caleb Parkin…We talked and rhymed for hours…we meant what we we’re saying and said it with a hurricane like gusto, it was good, filthy and just.”

   – Chloe Poems (Gerry Potter), Performance Poet

“He wowed the crowds with poems exploring species we commonly see as vermin, viewed through the lens of the seven deadly sins. He paralleled the topic of bedbugs with the sin of gluttony in Vermin V, entitled ‘Let us bite’.  With the poet taking the place of a New York gangster, Caleb’s portrayal of one of the ‘bedfellaz’ will have our visitors laughing (but hopefully not scratching) for some time to come.”

   – Bristol Natural History Consortium, BioBlitz blog

“Fresh and original, often wildly imaginative…Fluent, often showing a real poetic grace, and versatile – entertaining, poignant, fantastical, realistic.”

   – Patricia Ferguson, Writing Tutor and Novelist

“Caleb Parkin entranced us with his words. He interchanged live and recorded speech and cello playing to great if weird effect. Clever and different.”

 – Acoustic Night (Halo, Bristol) Review

“Highly inventive, linguistically and rhythmically alert, and admirably diverse in tone – from the comic to the evocative and reflective.”

– Dr. Stephen James, University Tutor

“I’m sooo impressed you took my lewd jottings and turned it into something quite exciting!’

 – Crysse Morrison, on collaborating on ‘Je M’aime’


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