21 September 2012

Matt Kimpton

Just a note to record my sadness at the recent passing of Matt Kimpton, a short-story writer who moved in some of the same circles as me and whose writing I very much admired. His death at the age of 35 is tragically premature.

I didn't know Matt well -- we'd never met in person -- but we had enough of the same friends that I felt the benefit of his witty, self-deprecating humour on Facebook and elsewhere. Much of his work was in oral storytelling -- he held the position of Chief Skald of Suffolk from 2010 to 2011 -- but he also wrote with humour and humanity about his life-threatening illness, notably here in the Independent. His stories, should you choose to seek them out, were 'Life After Queth' in Short Trips: Farewells, 'Shadow of Times Before' in The Panda Book of Horror and 'Storyteller' in A Romance in Twelve Parts. His final published fiction (as far as I know) is due to be released in The Casebook of the Manleigh Halt Irregulars, one of the titles in Year 2 of the Obverse Quarterly, due out later in the year.

'Storyteller' is a wonderful piece, set in Anglo-Saxon England and drawing heavily on the skaldic storytelling tradition. Like all the authors in A Romance in Twelve Parts, Matt kindly used his contribution as a springboard to provide a guest drabble for my own story, 'A Hundred Words from a Civil War' (it's number LXIV, and one of my favourites). I very much hoped that I'd be able to get a longer City of the Saved story out of him one of these days.

I'm very sorry to have seen the last of Matt. He was a funny, generous, popular man who will be very much missed. I'll be thinking of his family and friends as they say farewell to him today.


  1. That's very sad news. I enjoyed his work in the Obverse books very much.

  2. Anonymous9:16 am

    I had the privilege of knowing Matt. As an oral storyteller he was in a league of his own. At the events he attended, people always made sure to be around when he was due to tell a story. Captivating and engaging, he was incredible.


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