Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm
01392 271611

Christmas at the Custom House: Midwinter Poetry and Harp

Christmas at the Custom House: Midwinter Poetry and Harp

Quay Words presents: ‘to decorate this silence’

Not a run-up to midwinter, but a slow-down. Poet Caleb Parkin and Electroacoustic harpist Scarlett Smith present an interactive event focused on rest, recovery and stillness.

We’ll keep in mind nature’s rhythms and the need for recuperation at the time of year when days are shortest. Around a ‘campfire’, Caleb will share a selection of poems related to animal, plant and sea life, underscored with reflective soundscapes by Scarlett.

The poems shared will reflect the need of all living beings’ to restore and replenish. There will be a guided meditation ‘nap’, exploring the importance of hospitality and kindness during yuletide (and all year).

We will make simple poems together and individually, with supportive structures and forms, for writers of all levels. (No writing experience is necessary and everyone will find their abilities welcomed and accommodated.) Restfulness and gentle creativity, cushioned by ethereal melodies.

About the artists

Caleb Parkin is a poet, facilitator and was Bristol City Poet from 2020 – 22. He’s published widely in magazines, journals, through commissioned poems and competitions. He tutors for Poetry Society, Poetry School and First Story and holds an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. His published works include pamphlet: Wasted Rainbow, (tall-lighthouse, Feb 2021). Debut collection: This Fruiting Body (Nine Arches, October 2021) and The Coin (Broken Sleep Books, 2022).

Scarlett Smith is a Bristol-based Harpist she has been performing professionally for over 10 years at weddings, numerous corporate events, private parties, art galleries, care homes, ships, interactive theatre shows, circus shows, spooky Halloween events, anniversaries and on top of the flying trapeze rig at Glastonbury festival. She organised a community tour of over 100 streets in Bristol during the Covid-19 lockdown

This event will be in-person at Exeter Custom House. You can find out more about the accessibility of the Custom House here

If you have any access needs you’d like to discuss with us before the event you can contact us on We can offer free carer tickets if you need help to support you to attend.

Ticket Prices: £10/£5 concs

Buy Tickets
  • Date(s)

    • Wed 13th Dec 2023 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

  • Location

    Exeter Custom House
    46 The Quay
    EX2 4AN

  • Age Range

what’s on

Check out our programme

Stay in Touch

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates on a variety of arts and cultural events and activities.

I'm interested in*…(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.