UK artist David Parkin on Stories from the brainreels

Listen to this post: 

I’ve done it again! I got another UK artist with a brain injury on my streaming radio show. This month it’s Dave Parkin, who’s got a long history of basically being hilarious. He also has a history of clinical depression and severe traumatic brain injury. And like me, since Dave’s brain injury he laughs more than he did before. In fact, he woke from his coma cracking a joke and couldn’t stop laughing for much of the time he was an inpatient. But if you want to know more about his humor (or his humour since he’s English), you’ll have to listen to the show!

Dave came on the show to talk about a book he’s writing called “The Next Life.” It charts two years of his life: one with severe depression and one with brain injury and recovery. The book is mostly a series of fast-paced episodes that give you a glimpse into his experiences. Within the episodes are reflections so deep and profound that you kind of have to put the book down and just sit with them before going on. It’s not overrun with sentimentality, though. Before you can ever get too entangled, Dave cracks another joke about poo or talks about the bummer of going to the pub during his recovery and being the only one not getting to drink pints of beer. He’ll also let you know how much he loved eating yogurt while he was stuck in the hospital, covered in casts.

I really like the way the book jumps around in time, and his writing immerses you in whatever sensation or emotion he wants to describe. It’s unabashedly honest, funny, sad and moving. It’s also quite an homage to his parents and friends. Not everyone sticks around when a brain injury changes your personality and your life. He’s well aware of the role his relationships have played in his recovery and his enjoyment of post-brain injury life. Also, chocolate and beer are very nice.

I’ll let you know on this blog when the book is out and available to the public. I only think I got to read it before it was published because he needed someone with no inhibitions to tell him whether he cusses too much in it. Beware: he cusses a lot in the book. But it’s never gratuitous. It’s just honest. It’s just Dave with a brain injury.

Please visit to learn more about his artistic work, read his blog and parts of his manuscript, see his current performance project called Parkin Presents, listen to audio, watch videos, basically have some fun.

And tune in Friday, May 2nd at 1:00 pm Pacific time (9:00 pm Dave’s time) and anytime after that at. An accessible, typed transcript will be available on the Radio Show Transcripts page, episode #020, on this blog. Just a warning to Dave and your friends, I’ll be using American spellings in the transcript!