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.
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).