About Me – Biography

The short version:

A dairy farmers son but grew up in the city; discovered a love of writing early; used it to help protest Vietnam, then became a journalist. Took over management of a 7-day cafe/music venue and began performing my poetry; sold the business, published my first book “beginnings”, and hit the road as a full-time performance poet. (See Poetry.) Two more books, another cafe/venue, and seven years later stopped performing to have a family.

Went into politics instead, serving three 3-year terms on Waiheke Island, the last as chairman of its community board. Also wrote & directed corporate videos, and wrote/edited an environmental newsletter centred on the Hauraki Gulf. Contracted chronic fatigue syndrome, lost an election, fell in a black hole for several years. Nasty.

Moved to Hawke’s Bay with current wife to take our son to Steiner school there (Taikura). Became the left-wing pro-environment voice in the otherwise rabidly right-wing local rag, writing a weekly column for 14 1/2 years.

Had an epiphany when my old friend and touring-companion Ralph Bennett died in early 2015, and took up performing again, forming a band called Bruce Bisset & the Rural Voters, playing mostly blues, originals, and poetry-with-music fusion. Covid killed the band, but currently have a 3-piece (me, guitarist, keyboards) called BB3 which we’re working on. (Just issued a Rural Voters memorial CD called “Unfenced and Rawboned”. See Music.)

Meanwhile having always been a gamer from cards and Monopoly days, and a science-fiction/fantasy fan since school, got into role-playing games and ran an online text-based RPG through the 90’s. Now in the process of developing several storylines that came out of that, the first of which, a novel called “Under Duress”, has just been published. (See Books.)

Otherwise, trying to relax in my now-older age. Lol.