Luke was born and grew up in Ranelagh, a neighbour of the Scotts. He was a friend of Louis Scott, and was babysat by David and Nikki’s daughter Georgia. After ten years in a local private (Catholic) school he sidestepped into Trinity College and undertook Biblical and Near Eastern studies under teachers like the late, wonderful, Sean Frenye, Anne Fitzpatrick, Zuleika Rodgers, and David Edgar. While at Trinity Luke had the chance to train in the justly celebrated boxing club, where David Scott was invariably to be found throwing his hands at a beat-up bag in concert with much younger fighters. The dedication of the older Professor to this demanding sport was heroic. He saw it as a fierce method of keeping fitness, and as a source of aesthetic manna, with its odd colours and gear and rituals. Luke trained regularly enough with David and others for four years, and got to know him better during long exchanges by his fireplace. David, unlike a lot of older Irish writers, listened, followed and added to one’s ideas. Luke skipped off to Beirut to undertake an office job and, honouring the example of David, sought out and savoured the strange enclaves of boxing gyms in the Lebanon, whether he would find the time to train in them regularly or not. This emigration began a process of return and escape that continues with an ongoing excursion in Shanghai, China. He has published fiction, poetry and articles. Luke is grateful to be able to contribute to a project appreciative of David, an exemplary friend and a mentor.
In honour of Professor Scott’s treatment of the shocks that refigure the travelling writer, a dozen short poems accompany twelve incidental images from a huge and forward-falling Chinese city.