Photo Credit: Mel Nigro

Zach Goldberg

b. 1991

Current City, State, Country

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Durham, North Carolina, USA


Zach Goldberg is a writer, educator, and arts organizer from Durham, NC. He is the author of I’d Rather Be Destroyed (Button Poetry, 2024) and the chapbook XV (Nomadic Press/Black Lawrence, 2020). Zach has received awards from the MN Jewish Arts Council and the Metro Regional Arts Council, and he was the winner of the 2021 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest. Zach has represented Wesleyan University and Berkeley, CA at various national and regional poetry slam tournaments. He is a proud co-founder of BuckSlam MN and a volunteer at Boneshaker Books. He lives on occupied Dakota land in Minneapolis, MN.

What is the relationship between Judaism and/or Jewish culture and your poetry?

My poetry explicitly confronts competing social understandings of Jewish American identity, specifically the ideological dissonance that places Jewish Americans as both an oppressed minority and a fully privileged, assimilated class. I attempt to locate Jewish-American identity within a topography that includes a long history of Jewish oppression, American ideals of cultural assimilation, and my own family and personal histories. The work is at times historical (rooted in and researched from actual events), political (explicitly responding to contemporary sociopolitics), and personal (reflective of my own lived experience and family history). It posits the individual as a site for intersecting, overlapping, and competing histories, ideologies, and traumas. Poems traverse national boundaries, social movements, and intimately personal events, and they are in conversation with characters spanning Elijah the Prophet to Groucho Marx to my own mother. I don’t necessarily stake a claim as to the “correct” conception of American Jewish identity, but I do seek to articulate a vast array of interpretations in an effort to arrive at a more holistic understanding of pluralistic American Judaism.

Published Works

I’d Rather Be Destroyed (Button Poetry, 2024)
XV (Nomadic Press/Black Lawrence, 2020)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading

Current Title

Salesforce and Technology Manager/The Loft Literary Center


B.A. Religious Studies, Wesleyan University

Languages of Publication(s) and Poets Translated


Subject Matter