Poetry Society Member Caleb Parkin has been announced as the new Bristol City Poet, following in the footsteps of Vanessa Kisuule and Miles Chambers. Caleb will hold the role from 2020-2022. Caleb is a poet, performer, facilitator and filmmaker with a particular passion for inclusive environmentalism; wellbeing; arts, culture and heritage; and LGBT+ pride. His poems have been published widely in journals including The Poetry Review, The Rialto, Butcher’s Dog, Under the Radar, Coast to Coast to Coast, Envoi and Magma.
Caleb’s poem ‘The Desktop Metaphor’ won second prize in the 2016 National Poetry Competition.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said:
“I’m excited to see in what direction Caleb will take the third incarnation of the Bristol City Poet role, building on the strong foundations set by current City Poet Vanessa Kisuule. I have been impressed by the energy Vanessa has brought to the role and her willingness to challenge the city in her poetry. With his background in performance and education I am confident Caleb will approach the balancing act of accessibility and engagement which this role strongly demands with passion and creativity. I look forward to seeing the results during his time as city poet to capture and distil the stories in our city.”
“I’m flabbergasted, fizzy and delighted to be taking up the role of Bristol City Poet. Vanessa Kisuule has done a magnificent job over the last couple of years, with poems which celebrate, commemorate and challenge – and I’m honoured to be inheriting the post from her. We’re living through a period of great uncertainty. As a writing for wellbeing practitioner, I know that poetry has a role to play in comforting those in need. It can also challenge us to imagine different futures and ask useful questions about our city. I hope to write delicious poems for the people of Bristol, which embrace the city’s playful spirit – and to create spaces which give voice to our kaleidoscope of experiences. Remember: especially on a sunny day, Bristol is already a poem.”
The role is a collaboration between Bristol City Office and Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, known for programming the popular Festival of Ideas series.
10 July 2020