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Luke Davies (1962 – )

Luke Davies, portrait by Juno Gemes© Luke Davies, portrait by Juno Gemes©

Luke Davies was born in 1962, in Sydney. He grew up in West Pymble, on Sydney’s North Shore, and became interested in reading and writing poetry in his early teenage years. After school he studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Sydney, publishing his first collection of poetry, Four Plots for Magnets (1982), while still a student. His difficult experiences with drug addiction during the 1980s informed his first novel, Candy (1997). After recovering in the early 1990s, he worked in different occupations, including as a teacher and as a truck driver, and more recently has been a full-time writer. He has gone on to write further novels—Isabelle the Navigator (2000), and God of Speed (2008)—as well as writing essays and reviews for magazines and newspapers. He has also written for film, co-writing (with Neil Armfield) the script for the film adaptation of Candy (2006). From 2008, Davies has been based in Los Angeles, USA.

Davies’ poetry has been widely published in Australian literary magazines and anthologies. In 1994 he published a major collection with Angus and Robertson, Absolute Event Horizon: Poems. His next collection, Running with Light (1999), won the Arts Queensland Judith Wright Calanthe Prize in 2000. In 2004, he published his critically acclaimed collection of love poetry Totem, which won the Age Book of the Year award as well as the Age Dinny O’Hearn Poetry Prize (2004), and the John Bray Award for Poetry (2006).

Poetry Collections
  • Four Plots for Magnets (Sydney: Glandular Press, 1982).
  • Absolute Event Horizon: Poems (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1994).
  • Running with Light (St Leonards, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 1999).
  • The Entire History of Architecture and Other Love Poems (Newtown, NSW: Vagabond Press, 2001).
  • Totem: Totem Poem Plus 40 Love Poems (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 2004).
Suggested Further Reading
  • Michael Brennan, ‘Luke Davies,’ Poetry International Web, Internet, http://international.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=8190
  • Sophie Cunningham, ‘You Did Not Read Faulkner!’ Meanjin 67.2 (2008): pp. 110-19.
  • David McCooey, ‘Surviving Australian Poetry: The New Lyricism,’ Agenda 41.1-2 (2005): pp. 22–36.
  • Geoff Page, ‘Hymns that Speak of Love and Transcendence,’ Canberra Times 29 May 2004.
  • Judy Johnson, ‘ “Cliff Hanging” and “Gliding”,’ Ulitarra 15 (1999): pp. 144–48.