Reviews

What do other people say about my writing & performances?


“Caleb’s work is precise, whimsical and strong; it has the one credential that good art requires, which is that it sounds like no-one else.

 – Dr. Jo Bell, poet & tutor


“I can tell poetry is important to you, a mode with which you engage with the world. You seem to have an instinctive understanding of what a poem is (what is a poem? I’m not always sure, but I sensed you knew something!).  I think you have a lovely sense for the music of poetry […] Lovely phrasing, good use of rhyme. There’s lots of interesting experimentation with layout and using the white space of the page. I found many of your experiments to be engaging, and I particularly liked your writing about technology.”

 – poet Hannah Lowe, on 2017 Rialto Pamphlet Competition shortlisted entry


“I really like the way that the form and the repetitions in this poem make for something a bit churchy, a bit call-and-response, and at the same time the way the phrases develop and mutate, layering up each assertion. By the end the poem has come full-circle, but it’s not the same circle we started off with: something has been shifted. Also I love “The Great Stapler” and the “Photo Copier”, which lend a humorous, imaginative tone to the grinding office job the “Gods of our Days” undertake in their administration of the “things that matter”. It’s weird, and smart, and confident, bringing something vast, strange and unresolvable within reach.”

 – 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)


“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’

“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