/head>
‘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 New Writing

Review of Blinc Digidol. Conwy, 25th October 2013. In New Welsh Review 101 (Autumn, 2013) online.

When Kim Howells, Labour MP for Pontypridd, was Undersecretary of State for Culture, he made a comment that struggling theatres should broaden their appeal, and attract more paying customers with popular films and laser shows. Kim Howells, who attacked the Turner Prize as ‘bullshit’, always seemed to assume that elitist art and populist culture were at loggerheads, so I found myself wondering what he would have made of Blinc Digidol (Conwy, 25th-26th October), an arts festival combining a laser show with film and video art, and what the people of Conwy would make of its use of their public spaces.

Blink, and Conwy is gone. Its restaurants and gift shops fit within Edward I’s town wall, but there is a nearby marina and a golf course, and trains stop sometimes if you ask nicely. The art gallery is apologetically Cambrian but proudly Royal, and pays the price with occasional showings of paintings by Prince Charles. Holidaymakers consider the town worth an afternoon trip from Llandudno.

For a town gripped by the excitement of digital culture it seemed rather dark and quiet when I arrived on Friday night. Empty marquees filled the carpark inside the town wall, ready for the food festival beginning the following day, and attendants loitering nearby in fluorescent jackets gave the impression that others were not encouraged to loiter. I followed echoes of music. A video of bees swarming, projected onto a chapel front, was played and played again to an empty side street. ‘But Mummy,’ a child said, ‘what’s it for?’ A middle-aged couple stopped to take a snapshot or two, chuckled indulgently at it all, and went their way.

The crowds were concentrated on the waterfront, where a line of food stalls served exotic meats and local beers, and where a knot of people watched good-naturedly while a pre-recorded Menna Elfyn, more terrifying in her absence than in the flesh, read the words neatly appearing on the castle wall. An animated pumpkin bounced into view, as cheerfully unscary as a Harry Potter film; witches flew past on broomsticks, cackling, and ghosts made whooshing noises. A video was vaguely annoying about a woman in a floaty white dress, but none of us rioted, and a rather subtle and ingenious animation by Sean Vicary and Steve Knight impressed me so much that I remember their names. Sound and projection were both immaculate, and behind us the laser show made a cage of the sky. Anthony Hopkins read ‘Do Not Go Gentle,’ and then we were back with the pumpkin again. ‘She’s not the right one, mate,’ a passing teenager said to his friend. ‘If she was, she wouldn’t have done it, would she?’ I think Kim Howells would have liked the ostrich burger best.

Elsewhere, a speech synthesiser scratched out lines by Dylan Thomas, but struggled with the Welsh of John Rowlands. A motion detector used passers by to animate a mediaeval danse macabre. A small carpark housed a second projector supervised by young men in gratuitous hats, where quietly disturbing images played themselves out to a background of quietly disturbing sound effects. A boiling egg, blood, a Rorschach blot... I have a particular horror of Rorschach blots... The mobile cinema was very comfortable, and a film by Kika Nicolela had a less attentive audience than it deserved. The lad in the fluorescent jacket seemed grateful just to rest his feet. ‘But, Mummy,’ a child said, ‘I simply must have a pony.’

I felt I'd seen and heard about enough.

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.