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.