Luke was born in Sydney but left for the west in 1988 to seek his fame and fortune. He now lives in Fremantle in Western Australia. Luke’s poetry explores themes and responses from his travels in the more remote, wild natural landscapes of WA through his plant collecting work.
Luke has written poetry all his life and in recent years has had his poetry on display in the Western Australian Botanic Gardens as part of the Wildflower Festival. Unpublished poetry includes collected poems written for his daughter as well as collected Kimberley poems.
Luke was co-editor of Australian Seeds, a Guide to their Collection, Identification and Biology (Luke Sweedman and David Merritt in 2006).
In 1990, I was lucky enough to be employed by the WA state government as their seed collector in Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. My job involves collecting seed from throughout the state for conservation in the WA Seed Bank and for display in the Botanic Gardens. I spend several months a year in the bush which I love. WA is still a remote place and the flora is phenomenal, the more you study the plants the more absorbed you become. I have found writing poetry a great means of concisely interpreting feelings and responses to wild places when on trips. I think many people become disassociated from their natural surroundings and struggle for a sense of place. I like to say the sense of place is ours, you and me, just open your eyes, your home.