The Writers of Wales Database


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Nigel JarrettShort-story writer, essayist and poet. Winner of the Rhys Davies prize for short fiction. His work has appeared in London Magazine, the Observer magazine, Poetry Wales, Agenda, Outposts, Poetry Ireland, The Black Mountain Review (Ulster), Cambrensis, The Raconteur, New Welsh Review, Planet, The Salisbury Review, Cambria and many others. His winning Rhys Davies prize story, Mrs Kuroda on Penyfan will be included in the two-volume Library of Wales 21st century short fiction anthology, called Story,coming out soon.

Nigel's first poetry collection, Miners At The Quarry Pool, was published by Parthian in November 2013. It has been edited by poet Alan Kellermann and the cover design is based on one of Nigel's portrait drawings of coalminers. There are more details on the Parthian website, where an interview with the author has just been uploaded.

Nigel's stories are appearing frequently on literary websites, including The View from Here, Words with JAM and The Lampeter Review. He contributes articles and reviews on music to the online Wales Arts Review and continues as music critic of the South Wales Argus. He's also been interviewed on author websites, including by the novelist Vanessa Gebbie and on the Authorise and Writers Corner Cymru sites.

In September 2013 he collaborated with curator Ron McCormick on the catalogue for an exhibition of marine paintings at Southampton Solent University by the Newport artist Clive McCarthy.For two years he's been writing a light-hearted column called Monmouthshire Meander for Monmouthshire County Life magazine. He also writes Music Matters, a column about classical music, for the Argus's weekly arts and entertainments supplement, The Guide.


"…'Mrs Kuroda on Penyfan' is a compressed and perfectly-composed study of a Japanese company wife…"
David Callard, Planet

"…(Nomad) is so good that I am tempted to quote all of it…"
Jon Gower, New Welsh Review

With respect to Funderland:
"…This is Nigel Jarrett writing out of his skin. Here are vivid and vital stories that crackle like brushfire and ignite delight. What’s most impressive is a gift for making language seem newly minted, spruced up, washed by fresh rain. I read them with unbridled pleasure and unholy envy." Jon Gower

"…As a music critic by profession, Jarrett has a marvellous ear…in the collection's title story, the survivor of a big-dipper accident recalls the experience in slow motion detail…the stand-out story, 'Mrs Kuroda on Penyfan', is an enigmatic study…"
Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

"…Nigel Jarrett's stories take seemingly ordinary or innocent situations and gently tease out their emotional complexity. Both "Funderland" and "A Point of Dishonour" confound expectations superbly…In the former, a couple who are not a couple negotiate a weekend away and their suppressed feelings for one another, while in the latter, a woman challenges the notion that her great-grandfather, shot for desertion during the First World War, should be seen as a hero. Jarrett likes the hidden tensions in family situations: caused by the strange stepfather in "Watching the Birdie", for example. He's not afraid of unusual perspectives and his bravery is well rewarded in this unusual and sensitive collection."
The Independent on Sunday

Selected Publications:
Funderland (Parthian, 2011)
Mines at the Quarry Pool (Parthian, 2013)

Contributed to:
Avallaunius (guest editor) (Journal of the Arthur Machen Society, 1987)
The Day’s Portion (co-editor) (Village Publishing, 1991)
Tilting at Windmills (contributor) (Parthian, 1995)
Signals 2 (contributor) (London Magazine Editions, 1999)
Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe (contributor) (Parthian / Cambrensis, 1999)
The Penniless Press Reader Anthology (contributor) (The Penniless Press, 2009)