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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Parkin

New Year, New Wings

2019, when I had – in a very real sense – wings.

A belated and brief round-up of last year (I know – it’s nearly February, but midwinter just isn’t my time). 2019 was the year in which I:

Graduated from my MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP), with a dissertation focused on CWTP in museum and gallery settings. I’m immensely proud of the achievement and the training continues to provide me with valuable insights into group process and practical ways of getting the most of the wellbeing aspects of all the groups which I facilitate.

Received Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice funding, to work on my first collection – hurrah! This is progressing nicely and I’m so enjoying the creative freedom to explore queering ecopoetics, more-than-human kinships and the intersections of technology and ecology…Watch this space for more info as that progresse

Worked on lots of projects and workshops, including:

  1. Max Literacy and Creative Cafeswith Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

  2. Beyond Words with Cheltenham Literature Festival – rounding off last year’s and beginning my second year as writer-in-residence for the project

  3. Sharing poems at Memory Cafes with Literature Works, with more coming up in February 2020

  4. Imagining detritivore spacecraft at We The Curious

  5. Working with a group of learning-disabled (and non-) artists to respond to the Outsider Art Collection at the Whitworth Museum and Art Gallery in Manchester

  6. Poet in Schools sessions for the Poetry Society

  7. Rounding off my Writer-in-Residencies and Lead Writer work for First Story (who sadly aren’t operating in the South-West anymore)

  8. Devising and co-hosting I’m Bitter About Glitter family workshops exploring gender and choice

  9. Pride month writing sessions with Toby Campion at Leicester LGBT youth groups

  10. Writing and performing a commission for the National Poetry Competition at 40 celebrations

  11. Creating a resource for the National Poetry Competition which you can find here

  12. Co-hosting primary school sessions (to be concluded in February 2020) with Josh and Rosie of the astonishing Impermanence Dance Theatre, exploring conflict and reconciliation around their splendid dance film The Ballet of the Nations.

I also performed and ran workshops at Shambala Festival and Poetry in Aldeburgh.

It’s no wonder one gets a little tired and needs a midwinter break, eh?


2020 is off to a vibrant start with publications and projects, including:

  1. A selection of my poems on Molly Bloom, here

  2. My poem ‘Screenwash’ will be Poem of the Month in Bristol 24/7in February

  3. A cephalopod poem of mine will be appearing in Envoi  in April

  4. A Section 28-inspired poem appearing in Lighthouse in April

  5. I’ll have a (jellyfish/climate change/Dylan Thomas) poem in the Dear Dylan anthology from Indigo Dreams in spring

  6. An LGBT+ schools creative writing resource will be on the First Story website in time for LGBT+ History Month in February

  7. I’m currently writing a resource for the Foyle Young Poets teacher resource book – more on this once it’s out in the world.

This is also the year I hope to complete my first collection and move it towards publication – which is very exciting indeed!

In these strange and troubled times, I’m extremely appreciative that my work is creative, helpful to others and fulfilling for me. May your work be so for you, too.


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