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This interview is taken from PN Review 117, Volume 24 Number 1, September - October 1997.

in Conversation with Robert Minhinnick Sam Adams

Robert Minhinnick was born, in 1952, and brought up in the village of Pen-y-fai, near Bridgend, south Wales. He was first published in the 'New Poets' special number of Poetry Wales in 1972 and has since established himself at the forefront of the younger generation of Anglo-Welsh writers. The most recent of his six books of poetry, Hey Fatman, was published by Seren in 1994. He has also produced two volumes of essays, Watching the Fire Eater, Arts Council of Wales Book of the Year in 1993, and Badlands (1996):

SAM ADAMS: Although you are clearly Welsh by birth, upbringing and allegiance, in a country where the list of writers is packed with Davieses, Joneses and Thomases, your name is unusual. Is Minhinnick Cornish? More importantly, are you interested in origins?

ROBERT MINHINNICK: Yes, it's a Cornish name and I am interested in origins - in a big way. I traced the name to the village of Menheniot, which is about ten miles west of Plymouth. My father's father came over at the beginning of this century, following the mining industry. I'm clear that I am Welsh, having been born in Wales, as were my parents and three of my grandparents. I can't claim Cornish stock other than in a much attenuated, sentimental way.

Badlands, the book of essays which came about in 1996, has a dedication 'in memory of Albert Minhinnick' - your father - who used to take ...


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