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James Goldberg is a poet, playwright, essayist, novelist, documentary filmmaker, scholar, and translator who specializes in Mormon literature. Born in Provo into a family with Sikh, Jewish, and Mormon roots, Goldberg inherited interests in both migration and the ways religious imaginations have shaped the world. After moving from Orem to Columbus, Ohio and then serving as a missionary in the former East Germany, he returned to Utah in 2006 to help develop Mormon literary community.
From 2006-2009, Goldberg led the New Play Project, a Provo theater company dedicated exclusively to original work, including work with Mormon themes and motifs. In 2012, he co-founded the Mormon Lit Blitz, a contest for Mormon micro-literature. Goldberg later helped expand the scope of the project to bring international Mormon literary work to English-speaking audiences in translation. From 2013-2019, Goldberg also worked for the History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, developing new narrative approaches to the faith’s history.
Goldberg won the Association for Mormon Letters Drama Award in 2008 for his play Prodigal Son and the AML Novel Award in 2012 for The Five Books of Jesus. He is a two-time recipient of project development grants from the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts. His theater for young audiences play The Valiant Chattee-Maker was supported by a city of Orem CARE grant.
Within the state’s literary landscape, Goldberg has worked to find ways to express