Life Is a Strange Trip: Shortcuts of John Irvine`s biography

John Irvine — is a well-known New Zealand writer and poet, working in a “speculative” genre. He is also an independent publisher of Creativia.

He was born in a small town Naenae (Lower Hutt, New Zealand) on October 14, 1940. Naenae was a working-class suburb, where children life was often lonely. From John’s notes, he was a “fat kid”, he had no father and fell abandon, the event having a close relationship with his inspiring mom. From his mother’s words John started writing poems almost being a child, though none of his works remained.

Very strange childhood and further youngster years followed by typical adolescence troubles were enhanced by the post-war despair. It had significantly influenced on a young man psychology and his outlook. Tough conditions forced John to work at the age of 15. Having no study background and professional qualification that lessen his ability to build a firm career John was tempted by a fairy Australia, exactly after the first unsuccessful marriage.


He found himself in a variety of spheres, he was involved in culinary, farming, yachts and managing businesses, crewing and car sales. He stopped in New Guinea to run a jungle resort, etc.

A trip with a 28-years length made him shifting like a free boat on a free float or to be precise he was ‘drifting about like a cryptococcus spore on the breeze’. Those time he had experienced a wild motorcycle ride as well as an old car. Moreover, 12 of 28 years he was followed by his fair friend Mr Mo (a dog).

Stumbled with his strange life way and aimless employment history in 1996, he came back to New Zealand being at the age of 56 (at that moment he was also unemployed). Exactly, this period he started his writing path. It was love themes and poetry at first, which have changed to a genre he is well-known for — ‘speculative’ one. It encompasses his life retrospective and cold recognition of his true style. After he met a woman (it was almost eleven years ago), he continued writing ‘flashes’ and short romantic stories.

Now he is closely tied to this woman from Greece. They live in a Coromandel Peninsula (typical New Zealand’s rural place) within hills, greenery, ocean and untouched beautiful nature.

Irvine said: “One day I hope to peacefully die. Die without warnings. Die with a minimal leakage.”

Famous books

His best books “Fast Friends Forever: A Tribute to Greyhounds in Words and Pictures”, “You and Me and Cancer Makes Three”, “Blood Curry” are available on Amazon store. He also is known for being the author of “Disquiet”. It is a horror-fantasy collection published by Creativia in 2014. “Two Voices” — is a joint collection of illustrated haibun created in collaboration with his wife. “Echoes of Exotic Places” — is a poetry edition from John and Maureen Irvine where the share their travelling experience before they met (living separately from each other).