Mister Hamilton, John Dickson's first collection in eighteen years, is an appealing, questioning mix of elements. Over a base of South Island bedrock (granite, schist, greywacke), Dickson has peopled this quietly fiery collection with day-to-day working voices and narratives, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes charged with a political consciousness and lyrical intensity. Shot-through with veins of jazz, rock and blues, quizzical religiosity and a streak of the absurd, this book takes a fresh look at the streets and lawns and people of urban and suburban 'Pig Island' and offers some thoughtful, wisely pitched and immensely likeable poems. And who is Mister Hamilton? A familiar everyman, a voice of authority, a common presence, an old friend - readers may make up their own minds after spending time in the company of Dickson and his book.
"John Dickson's conversation with himself about poetry is not only serious and thought-provoking but also witty and entertaining...once I'd found Dicksons' wavelength I felt grateful for the work, the patience, the talent and the good humour that has gone into these poems"- Landfall 196, review of sleeper (AUP,1998).
Descended from a mix of Irish, Scots and English ancestors, John Dickson was born in 1944 at Milton, South Otago. He attended Southland Boys' High School and the University of Otago. John worked at The Bill Robertson Library in Dunedin for many years, and was Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in 1988. He is the author of the poetry collections what happened on the way to Oamaru (1986) and sleeper (Auckland University Press, 1998), as well as an audio CD Plain Song (2009). In 2000, John Dickson was the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Waikato. Since 2007, he has worked as a kitchen hand and as an undertaker. John Dickson is well-known for his entertaining poetry readings and has released two audio recordings.