Luke Darby is a freelance writer working mainly in Texas at the moment, writing about art, food, music and news. His work is one of the top five hits on Google if you search “best nachos Dallas.”

Luke holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS.  Most recently he worked as an editorial fellow at the Dallas Observer. While in grad school he interned at Newsweek International and the websites for The New Yorker and New York Magazine, and in undergrad at the Jackson Free Press.

Luke’s writing has appeared on the websites for NYMag.comThe Daily Beast, and TheNewYorker.com, as well as the online and print editions of the Dallas Observer.

Feature Writing:

Dallas Observer Masterminds 2014
Dallas Observer, January 15, 2014, with Lauren Smart

The Weirdest Theater Mind in Dallas
Dallas Observer, August 8, 2013

Lyndon Baty and the Robot That Saved Him
Dallas Observer, May 16, 2013
Picked by Longreads as one of the “Top Five Longreads of the Week.”


Observer: People Issue 2013

The DO’s annual People Issue came out this week. We rounded up mini-profiles of 30 of the most interesting people in Dallas, and here are the four that I wrote:

Artist Sally Glass Has Embraced a Second Life as Magazine Publisher, and Dallas’ Art Lovers are Better Off for It

Legally Blind Artist Stephen Lapthisophon Challenges Students and Viewers to Open Their Eyes Wide

Designer and Tailor Tracy Popken is Trying to Get Dallas to Hang on to its Vintage Clothes One Stitch at a Time

Dallas Artist Edward Ruiz Is Trying to Do the Impossible: Make Stage Magic Sexy

Observer: At what point do I call myself a “gay correspondent”?

Dallas Day of Decision Rally

Dallas Day of Decision Rally

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez Is the Unlikely Star of a Pretty Cool HBO Documentary June 28, 2013

Dallas Activists Celebrate Gay Marriage Rulings June 27, 2013

Shockingly, Mock Trial Of Lee Harvey Oswald Doesn’t Really Clear Anything Up June 24, 2013

Here Are All the Places It’s Apparently Cooler for Young People to Live than Dallas June 21, 2013

Texas Beats the National Average in Juvenile Detention Sex Abuse June 20, 2013

Jesse Ventura Is Super Serious About Suing Chris Kyle’s Widow June 18, 2013

Observer: In Which I Write for All of the Blogs


The Postal Service, via iPhone

Mother Can’t File Complaint Against DPD for Her Son’s Death Because She Doesn’t Live in Dallas June 14, 2013

Researchers Find North Texas Kids Have Higher Risks of Poverty, Food Instability, Mental Health Problems June 12, 2013

Fort Worth Representative Matt Krause Named Texas’ Most Homophobic Legislator June 10, 2013

New Study Says Vegetarians Live Longer, But at What Cost? June 4, 2013

The Postal Service at Verizon Theatre: “This is Love in the Modern Age, Folks” June 4, 2013

What We Learned from Ira Glass in Dallas, Including His Love of a Certain C-Word June 3, 2013

Observer: Ira Glass Called Me “Memorable” and I’m Not Sure if That’s a Good Thing

Alyssa Edwards, of RuPaul's Drag Race fame.

Alyssa Edwards, of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame.

Not only did I get to interview Ira Glass (and successfully creep him out) but I also managed to talk my way into a drag queen beauty pageant. All in the name of journalism.

HIV-Positive Man Charged with Aggravated Assault for Spitting on Police Officers May 31, 2013

Alamo Drafthouse Richardson Will Open in August May 31, 2013

Ira Glass Says He’s Coming to Dallas to Remind You That His Show Still Exists May 30, 2013

Rep. Peter King is Boycotting Ted Cruz, But Really, They Have a Lot in Common May 29, 2013

Miss Gay US of A at the Palladium: We Were There, and You Should’ve Been Too May 28, 2013

Observer: Nutella Day and Chicken Dances


In anticipation of the return of Arrested Development, I embraced my inner BuzzFeed and collected GIFs of all the characters’ chicken dances. I expect this to get more views than anything else I’ll ever write.

Dallas ISD Trustees Voted to Fire Two Principals and Hundreds of Teachers Tonight May 23, 2013

The “Merry Christmas Bill” is Headed to the Governor’s Desk May 23, 2013

The Chicken Dances of Arrested Development: A Celebration in GIFs May 22, 2013

World Nutella Day Is Dead [Updated] May 21, 2013

The Number of Poor People in Dallas Suburbs Keeps Going Up May 20, 2013

Observer: In Which I Eat All the Nachos


I started to contribute to the DO’s food blog, City of Ate, and proposed to hit up nacho places around Dallas. I thought it would be a great way to sample piles of nachos on the company dime, but going through five plates of nachos in 36 hours was a punishing idea. Hopefully there will be a sequel (I’m thinking of calling it “Nachocaplypse”) but I’m gonna need some time to recover first.

Infighting in the Pro-Life Movement Killed a Bill to Reform End-of-Life Care May 17, 2013

This Weekend’s Beer Pong Tourney in Addison Does Not Include Beer for Some Reason May 16, 2013

Dallas Interfaith Group to State Lawmakers: Expand Medicaid Now May 6, 2013

Searching for the Best Nachos in Dallas May 6, 2013

Six Years Later, Reunion Tower Observation Deck to Reopen With a New Look May 3, 2013

FDA Suddenly Cares About Caffeine Now That Wrigley is Putting It In Gum May 2, 2013

McDonald’s is Still Considering Making Breakfast an All-Day Thing. STILL. May 1, 2013

After All These Years, Eggs Are Still A Mystery Apr. 30, 2013

Pearl Cup to Open at AT&T Performing Arts Center Apr. 29, 2013

Observer: About Guns, Droughts, BDSM and Moby Dick

Via Wikimedia

Via Wikimedia


Despite Sharp Divisions, Dallas ISD Trustees Vote to Oppose Effort to Ease Testing Standards Apr. 26, 2013

UNT’s Ahab Symphony Brings Melville, Poetry and Thoughts of Imminent Death to the Stage Apr. 25, 2013

The TEA Will Begin Grading Schools on A-F Scale, Just as Soon as Lawmakers Let It Apr. 24, 2013

“I Haven’t Had a Dildo in My Ass, Can I Still Attend?”: Questions for Bondage Expo Dallas Apr. 24, 2013

Beloved Sunset High Principal Anthony Tovar Says He Will Leave Dallas ISD After All Apr. 19, 2013

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert: Beware of Islamic Terrorists “Trained to Act Hispanic” Apr. 17, 2013

Rick Perry and Texas Politicians Pressuring Mexico to Pay its Water Debt Apr. 16, 2013

Colleagues of Rick Halperin, SMU Human Rights Professor, Don’t Buy Nazi Accusations Apr. 15, 2013