Blas Manuel de Luna

Born: 1969

Blas Manuel de Luna is a Chicano autobiographical poet and educator. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico in 1969, but soon immigrated with his family to Madera, California. There, he and his young brothers and sisters worked alongside their parents in California’s agricultural fields, picking fruit for long hours. De Luna earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University, Fresno, where he studied English, and he received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. In 2000, he became a Ruth and Jay C. Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he spent a supremely happy year teaching undergraduate creative writing classes and composing many of the poems that would later appear in his first book. That collection, Bent to Earth, was published in 2006 by Carnegie Mellon University Press and became a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. De Luna frequently draws on his own life experience to create his poetry, using straightforward and visually rich language to revisit his immigrant labor experience and the bond he shares with his family, especially his father. De Luna still resides in California, where he is a high school English teacher.