WHAT PEOPLE SAY

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:

"[This Fruiting Body] is gorgeous, restless poetry that wanders through the natural and built environments with childlike curiosity, and wry adult humour. I highly recommend it."

  - Vanessa Lampert, reviewing This Fruiting Body in Alchemy Spoon

"In hearty defiance, This Fruiting Body is packed full of zesty poetic nutrients, moments (as per Parkin) “where the mundane flips over and we see the mud under lawns”. We don’t provide medical or legal advice, but understand that rolling around in certain qualifying poetry, as contained here, may boost your immune system and increase resistance against immediate despair."

- full review at Poetic Justice, here.

 

"...the exuberant execution of the less formal poems is what carries the reader through this collection. You’d need a hard heart and a deep attachment to taxonomy not to enjoy large parts of it."

- Carl Tomlinson, in The Friday Poem

Online Course Participant,
February 2022

Zoom Participant, November 2021

Teacher, Haverfordwest VC School, September 2021

“What I loved about the course is that Caleb catered for all skill levels by the variety of writing prompts given for each assignment. So I could choose my own adventure. I gained a lot from reading Caleb’s feedback on all of our work, and the way he was encouraging all of us to go further.”

"It was fantastic, so warm and friendly – thanks for a most enjoyable and inspiring session. I enjoyed having a go at writing and you were so encouraging."

"Thanks for everything last week - the students are demanding that you come in once a term to "spice things up a bit". I think you can safely take that as a compliment! The teachers were just as enthusiastic in their praise after the session you did with them." 

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.”

Online Course Participant,
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.”

Course Participant, November 2020 (Sheaf poetry festival)

“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!”

Poet, Bristol, October 2020

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

Course Participant,
September 2020

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

Online 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.”

Young People’s
Programme Curator, Derby,
May 2021

”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!”

Course Participant, March 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.”

Poetry School Student,
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.”

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 Zoom Group Participant

“These sessions are so good! Highly recommend.“

 Online Course Participant,
May 2020

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

Online Course Participant,
April 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!”

Kathryn Heathfield,
Lead English Teacher, 
GHES, 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”

Secondary Teacher,
March 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.”

Youth Worker, Leicester,
July 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.”

“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!”

Cheltenham Literature Festival, Education Manager, 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.“

Bristol Primary School,
April 2019

Primary Teacher, Exeter,
October 2019

“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.”

Teacher, Millfield School,
June 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.”

Bristol Secondary Teacher,
May 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,
re CPD for
Learning Federation
English Teachers
– March 2019

“It was a lovely session: lots of positive from staff and a well-needed fun session. Hope to work with you again.”

Bristol primary teacher,
World Book Day,
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.”

Teacher,
re Beyond Words project,
2018-19

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

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

“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,
near Bristol, 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”

Secondary Teacher
(re Bristol City Museum
workshop), 2017

“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.”

M Shed Museum Staff,
Bristol, 2016

“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.”

Workshop Participant, 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!”

Paola, workshop participant

“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.”

Keystones Mental Health Support, Bristol

“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.”

Clifton Learning
Discovery Centre,
on storytelling and workshops.

“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”

Kelly, workshop participant, University of Bristol

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

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

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