‘Reflections on the Destiny of the British Race,’ two fictions forthcoming from New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing.

from ‘The Conquest of Angles A and B by the Superior People of Angle C’

Let history know that in the ninetieth year of our habitation, the people adjacent to Angle C mounted an expedition against the peoples of Angle A and Angle B, whose chants and imprecations were a nuisance by day, and whose concupiscence disturbed our sleep by night. Let it show that we marched from the vertex of Angle C towards the hypotenuse, broke in two at the point where our territory met theirs, and set upon their people in their lechery and slumber, just as the light was increasing. Let history know also that People A and People B sued for peace, and ceded to us one third of their territories along the Euler line. Finally, let it tell that we evicted the people we found there, set up camp at the median M of the hypotenuse, brought our supplies and settlers from Angle C, and so established our civilisation in the farthest corner of our new territory. Towards the third meal there was a brief uprising. Fighters from Angle B advanced towards Point M, meeting their allies from Angle A: attacked from both sides, our settlers defended themselves with cooking pots and knives, killed some, and took others captive, whom they stripped and bound at hand and foot, beating them as the light decreased, until their groans and curses echoed through the Triangle.

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‘The Cloak of Kings’ Beards: Three Welsh Folk Tales.’ In New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 24th September 2018.

Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams, 1747–1826) was a stonemason by trade, a poet, an antiquarian and forger, a Unitarian and a political radical, and the founder of the Gorsedd Beirdd. Three stories from the Iolo Manuscripts, edited and translated by Taliesin Williams (Llandovery: William Rees, 1848) are retold, with minor changes to bring out the modern resonance of their themes.

Talhaiarn the poet had a son named Tanwyn, and this son had been raised by his father in the love of mankind and the service of God, in every honourable attainment and every beneficial skill. This lad, arriving at man’s estate, felt a yearning to leave his father’s house, and to seek out his destiny in the world, so his father kissed him and gave him his blessing, with a few parting words of advice: ‘My son Tanwyn,’ he said, ‘my only beloved son, I have given you all knowledge and training and instruction, and I have neither land to house you nor gold to speed you on your way. Therefore, travel where you will under the guidance of God, and remember only these words of mine: never wish on another what you would not wish on yourself; never take the new road where the old road is still passable; and never pass by a place where a man of God is preaching, without stopping to listen to him.’

So Tanwyn left, and after travelling for some days, he came to a long and even strand, and remembering his father’s advice, he wrote these words in the sand with his staff: He who wishes ill on another, on him may the same ill fall. As he was doing so, the lord of that country came by with his retinue, saw the clarity and beauty of his writing, and reined in his horse to speak to him.

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‘Dangerous Asylums: Rob Mimpriss showcases fiction inspired by a hundred years of records at Denbigh Mental Hospital.’ By Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray, Rob Mimpriss, A.L. Reynolds, Simon Thirsk and Gee Williams. Edited with an introduction by Rob Mimpriss. In New Welsh Review 104 (Summer 2014), 46-55.

From the Introduction:

It is a blustery day in spring, and I am going to the mental-health unit of Bangor Hospital to meet a professor. The trigger for this meeting is a call for writers willing to work with patients’ records from a hundred years ago or more. The outcome is, first, that I agree to write about mental illness provoked by the Religious Revival of 1904, and second, that I invite other writers to use patients’ records of interest to them. I leave with a hundred pages of closely-typed notes in my bag, and this is only the first of a series of meetings, not all of them always easy. It has been hard at times for writers trained in the arts, and experts in the history of mental-health treatment, to communicate. You will agree, I think, that it was worthwhile.

From ‘Believer, 1905’:

I managed to get him relaxed, and using the sponge, and then he looked up at me, meek as a girl. ‘Mr Edwards,ʼ he said, ‘what are they going to do with me?’

‘Do with you?’ I said. ‘Young fellow, they’re going to make you well.’

‘I’m not sick.’ In that moment he didn’t seem it, and I could imagine myself telling Dr Herbert he was ready to go home. He stared at his legs stretched ahead of him in the water. ‘I’m a terrible sinner, though.’

Cover of New Welsh Review 104

See older publications

My work has also appeared in Annexe Magazine, Cambrensis, Catharsis, East of the Web, The Interpreter’s House, New Welsh Review, Tears in the Fence, and elsewhere.

I am the author of three 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 in revised editions at Cockatrice Books. My anthology of fiction, Dangerous Asylums: Stories from Denbigh Mental Hospital Told by Leading Welsh Writers, 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 was a contributor with Nigel Jarrett, Rachel Trezise, Tristan Hughes and others to Brush with Fate, an anthology of Welsh fiction translated by Hala Salah Eldin. I am a member by election of the Welsh Academy.

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), and A Book of Three Birds, the seventeenth-century classic by Morgan Llwyd (Cockatrice, 2017). In addition, I have translated fiction by D. Gwenallt Jones, Angharad Tomos, and Manon Steffan Ros.