Caleb Parkin’s debut poetry collection, This Fruiting Body, plunges us into octopus raves and Sega Megadrive oceans, in the company of Saab hermit crabs and ASDA pride gnomes. It’s a playful invitation to a queer ecopoetics that permeates our bodies and speech, our gardens, homes, and city suburbs. It reintroduces us to a Nature we’ve dragged up until it’s unrecognisable.
Parkin’s perceptive poetry sparks with neon visuals, engaged in the joyful, urgent, imagining of alternative realities and new futures. How might we relate queerly and dearly to our environment and its shared conundrums? These adventurous poems delight in human and nonhuman intimacies, teem with life, ponder bug sex and put masculinities under the microscope. This Fruiting Body roves our grandiloquent planet, embracing our kinships with matter, culture, creatures and drag-mother Earth herself.
“This Fruiting Body is an exhilarating book that fractures categories by showing the reader what thrives beyond the prison of the human self. The queer filaments between its poems form a compassionate brocade that holds together all living creatures, the dreams of ants and mould allowed to ‘billow and spore’ alongside deep-fried skyscrapers and ASDA pride gnomes. The stakes are urgent, the days ‘trembling like antennae’ but let’s think like a dung beetle, one poem whispers, and ‘roll the sun together’. Generous, monstrous and inspiring.” - John McCullough, author of Reckless Paper Birds.