Luke Dani Blue is a writer, astrologer, creative writing teacher and tweet-er who has lived all around North America (Mexico City, New York, Olympia, Traverse City, to name a few) and currently resides in the Canadian prairies. They were a finalist for the 2017 American Short Fiction Prize, won the 2015 Nelligan Prize and had a story listed as among the year’s most distinguished by the 2016 Best American Short Stories. Their work has appeared in The Colorado Review, Fourteen Hills, Midnight Breakfast, Bluestem and elsewhere.
Luke graduated with honors from the MFA program at San Francisco State University. They were the Fall 2016 Writer-in-Residence at the National Writers Series, where they taught in a 5-day a week writing program for northern Michigan’s public high school students. They also taught creative writing at UC-San Diego, San Francisco State University, San Diego Writers Ink and PEN Center USA.
Luke is currently seeking representation for a literary novel about con artists, one post-post-apocalyptic sex change and how hard it is to trust other humans (but why we keep trying anyway).
Blurbs from contest judges:
Lauren Groff, National Book Award Finalist and author of Fates and Furies, on “Bad Things That Happen To Girls“:
Kirsten Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiestas, on “Destroyed Flowers Everywhere“:
In prose that is spiky and precise and energetic, Luke Dani Blue writes about two friends trying to make sense of their world as it hurtles toward the sun. “Destroyed Flowers Everywhere” is a tense exploration of what can change between two people when there’s no longer time for change, and of how, when oblivion is moments away, we continue to reach for what we most desire.
Alice Fogel, New Hampshire Poet Laureate and author of Strange Terrain: A Poetry Handbook for the Reluctant Reader, on the “The Invention of History“:
Luke’s story is a haunting and mind-altering allegory–but more than an allegory–reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s dystopias or of a distortion of some kind of pogrom-suppressed shtetl. I don’t claim to understand this excerpt but it grabs me by the throat so that I would have to keep reading to know more about the society it shows me. What strikes me even more than the frightening strangeness of the tale and its suggestion of our own culture’s self-generated denial and ignorance, is the fantastic language, imagination, and thought that permeate it.
And Jacob Appel, author of The Biology of Luck and Scouting for the Reaper, on the short story manuscript:
The stories in L.D. Blue’s ‘Certain Disasters’ take us to the exquisite cusp of magical realism — to a world at the brink of where reality blends into imagination. We meet a hard-drinking mother who encounters a talking cockroach at her daughter’s wedding, a Mexican immigrant who finds himself trapped in an Edward Hopper painting, a girl whose doddering grandmother enjoys a secret nocturnal life as a wolf…. Blue has a gift for depicting a range of voices and viewpoints, capturing the insights of characters young and old, male and female, gay and straight, all with convincing acuity. ‘Certain Disasters’ is a mysterious and compelling collection from the mind of a highly-inventive and courageous artist.