‘freely and fiercely inventive short stories… supercharged with ideas.’ Jon Gower, reviewing Pugnacious Little Trolls by Rob Mimpriss for Nation Cymru. ‘Where is the Welsh short story going? Wherever Rob Mimpriss takes it.’ John O’Donoghue. Pugnacious Little Trolls, a new collection of short stories published by Cockatrice Books. ‘Bathed in white fire in every sense... Borges would happily own them.’ Gee Williams on Pugnacious Little Trolls, a new collection of short stories published by Cockatrice Books. ‘A fine Welsh writer working under the radar who deserves to be much better known.’ Nation Cymru greeting Pugnacious Little Trolls, a new collection of short stories published by Cockatrice Books. ‘Beyond question Wales’s finest and most subtle short-story writer working today... A work of great beauty and subtle force, a fine, distinctive voice.’ Jim Perrin on Pugnacious Little Trolls. ‘Zestful playfulness... along with a grand energy and capacity for invention.’ Jon Gower reviewing Pugnacious Little Trolls for Nation Cymru. ‘Dark, complex, pensively eloquent’ (Sophie Baggott, New Welsh Review) — Reasoning, For His Warriors and Prayer at the End, three short-story collections now published by Cockatrice Books. ‘Heaving with loss, regret and familial bonds.’ Annexe Magazine on ‘Gemini,’ a short story in Prayer at the End, published by Cockatrice Books. ‘Lucid, skilful, and above all, of enormous timely relevance’ (Jim Perrin). Rob Mimpriss’s new translation of Morgan Llwyd’s allegorical masterpiece, A Book of Three Birds. ‘There is nothing ostentatious about his writing... And yet the best of these pieces express something important about psychology and human relationships, and the sparseness of the writing is capable of considerable power.’ Brian George, The Short Review. ‘These stories are a rare kind of joy. Even when they approach moments of discontent and danger they bring an optimism founded in human relationships. This is a wonderful collection.’ Prof. Graëme Harper, editor, New Writing. ‘An invaluable translation.’ Angharad Price on Hallowe’en in the Cwm, the short stories of Owen Wynne Jones, translated by Rob Mimpriss. ‘Humour and pity often arise from the characters’ inability to understand themselves and those close to them. In suggesting the truth and the self-deception Mimpriss not only engages our sympathy but makes us question our assumptions about ourselves.’ Caroline Clark, gwales.com ‘Quietly written, contemplative... whose powerhouse is the depth of its moral reflection.’ Siân Preece, Rhys Davies Competition on ‘Hamilton Park,’ published in Prayer at the End. ‘An immaculate collection.’ Nigel Jarrett, twice winner of the Rhys Davies Award, on Prayer at the End, a collection of short stories by Rob Mimpriss published by Cockatrice Books. ‘Through the stealthy movements of his prose, Rob Mimpriss enacts the quiet enigma of people’s lives and relationships. The result is an understated fiction of compelling intensity.’ Prof M Wynn Thomas. ‘The story is called ‘Valiant’ in the collection, For His Warriors. I recommend it. Highly. It feels to me already like a classic.’ Fiona Owen, editor, Scintilla. ‘A quiet writer with a loud voice... I’ll be listening for more.’ Michael Nobbs, gwales.com on Reasoning: Twenty Stories, published by Cockatrice Books. ‘In the most seemingly unremarkable of Rob Mimpriss’s pieces there is a skill, and a mystery and elusiveness to that skill, which other short-story writers might envy.’ Gee Williams. ‘Industry in the Country of the Blind,’ new fiction in Land of Change, radical prose from Wales edited by Gemma Howell and forthcoming from Culture Matters. ‘This exemplary collaboration’ (Philip Gross). Dangerous Asylums, an anthology of fiction by leading Welsh writers, inspired by Denbigh Mental Hospital, edited by Rob Mimpriss.
Cover of Rivers of Wales

Rivers of Wales by Jim Perrin, with a foreword by Rob Mimpriss, forthcoming from Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2022. From the foreword:

In Snowdon Jim’s prose is erudite and purposeful. In The Hills of Wales it vividly reflects the sparseness of a landscape of ‘startling geometries,’ ‘elegant, sharply defined,’ which speaks to us most clearly when we are alone. His descriptions of the hill-slopes above Llanllechid at dusk, the hill-slopes I have known since childhood, convince me that his writing will not lead us astray. Yet in contrast to the focus of the other books, Rivers of Wales gives us Jim at his most companionable. It is filled with books he admires, folk-tales and anecdotes that will entertain us, people with whom he has shared the landscapes he describes, and it is a delight to be led through the book as though by a long-familiar walking partner, knowledgeable, observant and funny. It is a cliché to say that Seneca is pleasanter to read than the other Stoics because he is more fleshly and fallibly human. Jim differs from Thoreau in part because he lacks his po-facedness and pomposity.

If one is taken aback by the range and ferocity of his views, one will contrast them with those of the bigoted, who in fact have few opinions because they have few interests, and who express those few with the meanness and fearfulness which have polluted their capacity for joy. Jim condemns ‘that spiteful, stiff and self-regarding crew’ of the book world and of academia, condemns authoritarianism in wilderness management and self-righteousness in the arts, yet the far greater part of this book is given over to praise. Jim will celebrate a good ale, a hearty meal, a lively conversation; he shows an affectionate enjoyment of the eccentricities of those he meets; yet the quality of which he speaks most is generosity. This habit in his thought reminds me of the earlier writer of landscape and heritage, Glasynys…

The Sleeping Bard by Ellis Wynne, translated by T. Gwynn Jones with an introduction by Rob Mimpriss. Cockatrice Books, 2022.

Three nightmare visions of the world, of death and of hell.

The anonymous poet is dragged from sleep by the fairies of Welsh myth, and rescued by an angel is taken to see the City of Doom, whose citizens vie for the favour of Belial’s three beautiful daughters; to the realm of King Death, the rebellious vassal of Lucifer; and finally to Hell itself, where Lucifer debates with his demons which sin shall rule Great Britain.

First published in 1703, this classic of religious allegory and Welsh prose combines all the blunt urgency of John Bunyan with the vivid social satire of Dryden and Pope, and is published in the T. Gwynn Jones translation of 1940, with an introduction by Rob Mimpriss reflecting on its political significance as the union of England and Scotland comes to an end.

Published as part of the Wales in Europe series, celebrating the past and future of Wales as an independent nation.

‘The Ladies and the Baggage: Raymond Carver’s Suppressed Research and the Apologetic Short Story.’ In Creative Writing Studies: Practice, Research and Pedagogy. Edited by Graëme Harper and Jeri Kroll. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2008.

It is curious that these statements take the tone of apologies, since few novelists would seek to excuse their use of long narratives by an excess of wealth or leisure. As apologies they are also inappropriate to these two writers’ achievements, since their stories remain among the finest the form has yet produced. But one notices in both writers the guardedness of the explanation, the ‘perhaps,’ and one may suspect that more lies behind these writers’ choice of form than they are willing or able to say. Kate Roberts’s comments about craft and inspiration are hard to reconcile with the stories themselves, and Raymond Carver’s pedagogic essay, ‘On Writing,’ offers few original insights, consisting largely of slogans and quotations which he invites us to record on three-by-five cards.

But perhaps ‘The Student’s Wife’ reveals most clearly Raymond Carver’s thinking about the short story form. For it is, very clearly, one of his most graceful designs: covering the hours between night and dawn, and with one major and one minor character, it nevertheless conveys a picture of their life together and a sense of the world they inhabit. Thematically, it is one of Carver’s most far-reaching, for the protagonist’s solitude and insomnia, her fear of the sunrise, and the brevity and ambiguity of her prayer encourage us to read the story as an exploration of ontological suffering. But it is also thoughtfully modelled on a Chekhov story, ‘The Student,’ and the protagonist’s experiences recall the main themes in Frank O’Connor’s study of the short story form, The Lonely Voice. My burden, presented by a detailed close reading of ‘The Student’s Wife,’ is that, rather than explaining or defending his use of an unpopular form through his critical or pedagogic writing, Carver – and other writers like him – may encode such an apologetic within his creative practice. Moreover, this apologetic could not otherwise be expressed without embarrassment, for it refers to the less considered aspects of O’Connor’s argument: to the experience of ‘religion [as] the aspect of depth in the totality of the human spirit’ to use Paul Tillich’s (1959: 7-8) phrase, on his experience of religion as ‘ultimate concern’.

I am the author of four short story collections. Reasoning and For His Warriors, originally published by Gwasg y Bwthyn, Caernarfon, with Welsh Books Council support, now join Prayer at the End and Pugnacious Little Trolls in revised editions at Cockatrice Books. My anthology of fiction, Dangerous Asylums, including work by Gee and David Williams, Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray, Simon Thirsk and others, was published by the North Wales Mental Health Research Project, October 2016. I am a contributor with Nigel Jarrett, Rachel Trezise, Tristan Hughes and others to Brush with Fate (Albawtaka, 2014), an anthology of Welsh fiction in Arabic translation by Hala Salah Eldin, to Land of Change (Culture Matters), and to Creative Writing Studies (Multilingual Matters, 2007), essays on writing as an academic discipline edited by Graëme Harper and Jeri Kroll, and of the foreword to Rivers of Wales by Jim Perrin (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2022).

I am the translator of Going South: The Stories of Richard Hughes Williams (Cockatrice, 2015), Hallowe’en in the Cwm: The Stories of Glasynys (Cockatrice, 2017), A Book of Three Birds, the seventeenth-century classic by Morgan Llwyd (Cockatrice, 2017), and of fiction by D. Gwenallt Jones, Angharad Tomos, and Manon Steffan Ros. I was Artistic Coordinator of the North Wales Mental Health Research Project convened by Prof. David Healy at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and am the editor of Cockatrice Books. I hold a Ph.D. in Creative and Critical Writing from Portsmouth University, and am a member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars in recognition of my academic work, and of the Welsh Academy in acknowledgement of my contributions to Welsh writing.