• Caleb Parkin

2021 Done List

Updated: Jan 3

Begone, '21! What's new, '22?


Just under the wire, I wanted to add a round-up of activities from 2021. It's also the first News post on this new website!


In a very disorderly and unscientific way, I looked back through my paper diary (yes, I still use a paper diary and my brain doesn't function with out it). That's prompted the summaries below, with some hopes and trailers for 2022...


I view my work as a Network of Enterprises or, more often now, a mycelial network. When it works, this means there's nutrients flowing across and between the various projects, benefiting all of them whilst still allowing time and resources to flourish as a human being.


There have been times, through all the tumult, lockdowns and uncertainties, I've taken on too much and overworked. But in a time when so many have lost work, or not been able to venture out at all, I've appreciated all of it.


Likewise, I've appreciated being able to get out and do some 'normal' things: seeing friends; a couple of incidents of DANCING (which I really missed); being outside; getting away to some places in the UK - especially up to the Trossachs at summer solstice and over to the Gower during the early-September heatwave.


Because I'm short on time and - quite honestly - tend to be quite low on motivation at this time of year, I'm expressing this as my 2021 DONE LIST. We're often trawling endless and unachievable To Do Lists, so creating Done Lists is, I find, a helpful way to remember how much you've achieved.


So what follows is a heavily-linked summary of many of my projects this year. As much for my benefit as for anyone else's, but if you scan through there may be some interesting links:


2021 DONE LIST


Tutoring and Mentoring


Key Publications and Press


In February, during lockdown, tall-lighthouse published my debut pamphlet, 'Wasted Rainbow'. We managed to have a great online launch, including some digital dancing through 'Wasted Rainbow Rhythms'...


Katrina Naomi in Poetry London said: "Wasted Rainbow is a delight: a celebration of queer love and desire that is filmic, fun, intensely personal and (quietly) political".

 

In October, my debut collection This Fruiting Body was published with the always-wonderful Nine Arches Press. It's a joy to be published by a press which has been such a huge part of my development as a poet.


It's been so rewarding seeing the book connect with readers. On the Cardiff Review here, James McDermott said, "it's the poetry collection I've found myself re-reading and teaching more than any other. It's full of wry, witty, linguistically delicious ecopoems exploring the queerness of nature."


And in Alchemy Spoon, reviewer Vanessa Lampert said, "This is gorgeous, restless poetry that wanders through the natural and built environments with childlike curiosity, and wry adult humour. I highly recommend it".

 

For National Poetry Day 2021, I had a poem from the pamphlet and collection featured on a billboard in Bristol and in this article in the Guardian.


 

An unexpected gig judging a poetry competition between three barmen for The Bar Games, which I believe will be available on a Bacardi drinks app? I mean, I like booze and I like poetry, so...

Commissions, Collaborations and Readings

  • Reading and workshops at the Winchester Poetry Festival

  • Reading for Keele University (and featuring on the cover of their programme, which goes to show the benefits of high-res, interesting portrait pictures)

  • Hosting the awards ceremony for the Tree Weekender writing competition in November

Training and Development

  • Extend Arts Leadership Development Programme

  • Clean Language Coaching

  • Nomination and application for Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship

  • Comedy for Poets course with Angie Belcher

Networks and Community

What's New, 2022?

  • I'll be writing a 'Putting Together a Poetry Pamphlet' course for New Writing South.

  • In October, I'll have my second poetry pamphlet and third solo publication, with tthe excellent Broken Sleep, working title 'The Coin'

  • January will see one from my collection featured as Poem of the Week in the Guardian!

  • I'll be re-establishing my habit of setting aside and spending time every week on the editing, development and submissions of new work, which is so easy to lose but is absolutely vital to the poetry life.

  • And I'll be seeking funding for the development of a second collection: there is a lot more to say on all my obsessions...

  • Who knows what else will crop up!

Reading all that back: it's no wonder I feel a little tired, eh? But I'm looking forward to geting stuck into 2022.


Here are a few more of my favourite moments on camera.


HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS!

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