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…Below are what other people say about my workshops & tutoring:

​”Thanks again for this evening. It was a great session, really fun activities and the kids are loving working with you – which I knew they would!”

Young People’s Programme Curator, Derby, May 2021

“What an excellent tutor Caleb – thank you very much. I’ve been so impressed by the generous, detailed and specific feedback you’ve given me and also everyone else on the course – it seems to me that you are excellent at pitching your comments to where each person is at, which is a great skill.”

Course Participant, March 2021

“Thanks for a really inspiring and refreshing course Caleb (and everyone). I really enjoyed all the assignments, and loved reading all the poems submitted, which were so varied and original.”

Poetry School Student, March 2021

“The standard of work was very inspiring – often exhilarating – to share and I learned a lot from other poets as we stretched our skills and each made these exercises our own.”

Poetry School Student, March 2021

“I feel I now have a much wider range of options for my own work – and plenty of new ideas in process for future experiments.”

Poetry School Student, March 2021

“I loved everything about this course.”

Online Course Participant, March 2021

“I really enjoyed the sessions, they were very well planned and the space was facilitated really nicely. The space felt warm, colourful and welcoming.”

Online Course Participant, March 2021

” I loved how seamlessly both tutors made a community out of a virtual space. We (participants) were all a bit shy to start but they managed to create a safe and welcoming space. They are wonderful tutors and there is also their natural warmth. ..It’s been a joy, thank you.”

Online Course Participant, March 2021

“Really enjoyed the workshop and your poems. Its not very often that you get to see something totally new and this really opened my eyes to a new way of writing so many thanks for that!”

Course Participant, November 2020 (Sheaf poetry festival)

  “Thanks so much for this, the workshop plan feedback is magnificent. So so helpful!”

Poet, Bristol, October 2020

“Thanks for your brilliant course and to brilliant you for being so brilliant!”

Course Participant, September 2020

“Thank you very much to you and David [Clarke, co-tutor] for such a great course. I have really enjoyed/been inspired by all the assignments and I have really appreciated the thoughtful and detailed responses from both of you.”

– Online Course Participant, September 2020

“I have loved the course and all the places it has taken me. Thank you for such helpful readings and comments. And the Zoom sessions were inspired and made a lovely difference to responding to poems.”

– Online Course Participant, September 2020

“These sessions are so good! Highly recommend.

Online Zoom Group Participant

“Thank you very much, Caleb, for all your assignments and feedback. I loved this course.”

 Online Course Participant, May 2020

“Thank you for all your feedback and above all for putting together such a great course – it has helped me to write about subjects I’ve been fascinated by for a long time and how I might write about more on these in the future.”

– Online Course Participant, April 2020

“Thank you to Caleb for this weird journey – it was a really great and thought-provoking course. And thank you lovely poetic community for your insights and generosity.”

– Online Course Participant, April 2020

“Your encouragement, deep background to the prompts and humanity have been stellar. I love the way you critique, taking us all along your dance through a poem. The constant discoveries!”

 – Online Course Participant, April 2020

“You are an inspiration to us – and it is so heartwarming to see you in action with our young people. You are making a huge difference to them and to us and we are so lucky to have you on board. Thank you so much for all you do”

– Kathryn Heathfield, Lead English Teacher, GHES, April 2020

“I’m overwhelmed by what you’ve put together for our students. Such a beautiful, creative and inspiring resource for writing. We’re so fortunate and blessed to have you working with us.”

– Secondary Teacher, March 2020

“The children have been buzzing about the poetry sessions and both teachers have taken away some great ideas we can use in our teaching of poetry. The delivery of the sessions and your manner with the children was also brilliant.”

– Primary Teacher, Exeter, October 2019

“The activities sparked the young people’s interest in the topics of ecology and activism, and many of them took it really seriously, thinking outside of the box and coming up with some brilliant ideas; the poetry itself taught the young people a new skill and a different way to explore and express their feelings and communicate these to others. Most of the young people had the confidence to contribute to discussions and even share their work, which allowed for a massive self-esteem boost when being praised.”

– Youth Worker, Leicester, July 2019

“Caleb’s visit was a great success: he engaged very swiftly with a diverse range of students; gave thoughtful, imaginative feedback about the film poems and delivered a very focused, inspiring performance.”

– Teacher, Millfield School, June 2019

“Thank you for everything you have done and are doing for our students. Working with you this year has been an absolute joy.”

Bristol Secondary Teacher, May 2019

“Caleb’s visit was very well received by all staff and pupils. Prior to our whole school poetry day, Caleb provided fantastic examples of poetry activities, differentiated for staff to choose which poem to focus on. This immediately relieved staff of planning pressure and provided a wide range of age-appropriate poems.

Caleb injected life and laughter into each class he ran a workshop in and spurred the children on to perform to the best of their individual abilities. The end results were fantastic and the children confidently performed their recently composed poems during a whole school closing assembly.
We would highly recommend booking Caleb for a poetry experience your staff and children won’t forget!”
 – Bristol Primary School, April 2019

“It was a lovely session: lots of positive from staff and a well-needed fun session. Hope to work with you again.”
 – Bristol Secondary Teacher, re CPD for Learning Federation English Teachers – March 2019

“Thank you to local poet Caleb Parkin for coming to our school and bringing so much creativity and joy. Any teachers interested in a well-prepared and engaging poetry workshop/day for their school should definitely get in touch.”

 – Bristol primary teacher, World Book Day, March 2019

“Caleb’s writing workshops for Beyond Words at Cheltenham Festivals and Gloucestershire Hospital Education Services have been innovative and inspiring, with the students’ wellbeing always central. It has been incredible to see these young people make such progress in their writing abilities and confidence, and this is down to Caleb’s ability to be simultaneously calming and energising, creating a safe space in which they’ve felt able to challenge themselves and grow. I couldn’t recommend him more highly. “

 – Cheltenham Literature Festival, Education Manager, 2019

“Great – the poet is enthusiastic and his energy and positivity are contagious”

 – Teacher, re Beyond Words project, 2018-19

“I liked the way English/literacy was woven throughout the historical experience. We will follow up in different ways with history and grammar…Thank you – it was such a great morning’s learning. We would love to come again – it was very memorable.”

 – Primary Teacher, Bristol, 2018 – re Georgian House workshops, 2018

“​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, 2018

“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), 2017


“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, 2016

“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.

One Comment

  1. “Your encouragement, deep background to the prompts and humanity have been stellar. I love the way you critique, taking us all along your dance through a poem. The constant discoveries!” – Online Course Participant


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