John Eppel was raised in Zimbabwe, where he still lives, making his home in Bulawayo near the Matobo Hills. He teaches English at Christian Brothers College in Bulawayo.
His first novel, D.G.G. Berry's The Great North Road, won the M-Net prize in South Africa and was listed in the Weekly Mail & Guardian as one of the best 20 South African books in English published between 1948 and 1994. His second novel, Hatchings, was short-listed for the M-Net prize and was chosen for the series in the Times Literary Supplement on the most significant books to have come out of Africa. His other novels include The Giraffe Man, The Curse of the Ripe Tomato, and The Holy Innocents. His book of poems, Spoils of War, won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. His other poetry books include Sonata for Matabeleland, Selected Poems: 1965-1995, and Songs My Country Taught Me. In addition he has written two books which combine poems and short stories: The Caruso of Colleen Bawn, and White Man Crawling. Awaiting publication is a book of poems entitled Landlocked, and a book of short stories entitled White Man Walking. In July 2010, Carol Rumens selected Eppel's poem 'Jasmine' as the poem of the week on www.guardian.co.uk.