John Dickson

Poet with South Island granite in his veins, a cat on his lap and a song on his lips.

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. 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 began writing in late adolescence under the influence of Mayakovsky, Baudelaire, and Eliot. However, since he was the kind of youth who sniffed roses with his soul rather than his nose, the results can still make him blush. After many starts, during the late seventies and early eighties, he produced a few poems.

John is the author of the poetry collections what happened on the way to Oamaru (1986), sleeper (1998) and Mister Hamilton (2016) as well as an audio cassette Butan (1991) and CD Plain Song (2009). John’s poetry has been featured in many anthologies including The Nature of Things (2005) and A Good Handful (2008), as well as journals such as Broadsheet and Sport.