Author Archives: Eric R Samuelsen

The Book of Mormon: a Biography

One of my favorite books of Bible scholarship, and a terrific dip-your-toes-in-the-water first book for people interested in the subject is Karen Armstrong’s The Bible: A Biography.  It was part of a series called Books That Changed the World, and … Continue reading

Posted in Literary Views of Scripture, On-screen, On-stage, The Past through Literature | 2 Comments

The Tree of Life

Although, here, we read and admire the best work by Mormon writers, there are certain writers who we often cite as models for the work we hope to accomplish as a culture: Shakespeare and Milton. Chaim Potok. C. S. Lewis. … Continue reading

Posted in On-screen | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Looking back, looking around, looking forward

The BYU Writers/Dramaturgs/Actors workshop, or WDA, provides an intensive workshop experience for new plays and for new writers. I’ve taught it for years–this year, my friends and colleagues Melissa Larsen and George Nelson are running it. Typically, six plays are … Continue reading

Posted in International Scene, On-stage, The Past through Literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Napolean’s infant(ile) son

I have long been a huge fan of what Jared Hess accomplished with Napolean Dynamite. It’s a Mormon film, I think, without overtly advertising itself as such; I see its Mormon-ness in the small details: the Ricks College tee shirt … Continue reading

Posted in Funny Stuff, On-screen | 8 Comments


I recently finished reading The Pale King, the novel David Foster Wallace was working on when he died, by his own hand, in September 2008.  I love David Foster Wallace.  I love everything he wrote.  I certainly never met him … Continue reading

Posted in Literary Views of Scripture, Mormon LitCrit, On-stage, SF&F corner, Thoughts on Language | 3 Comments

Soundtrack to our lives

I’ve had a piece I’ve been working on for weeks and until recently made no progress on at all, because I couldn’t find the right music to listen to while writing it.  Weird quirk: I really can’t write at all … Continue reading

Posted in Funny Stuff | 10 Comments

All hail the Flux Capacitor!

My wife and I went to see The Source Code the other night.  We really liked it.  It was directed by David Bowie’s son, who sensibly goes by Dalton Jones instead of his more loonie-celeb birth-name possibility Zowie Bowie.  Anyway, … Continue reading

Posted in On-screen, SF&F corner, The Writer's Desk | 17 Comments

Butterflies and ponies

Since January, I’ve been spending my nights with my daughter Lexie and some actors in the Covey Center for the Arts, in Provo.  I’m directing my play The Plan, and we open next week.  (We run March 18-April 2, Thursdays … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, On-stage, The Writer's Desk | Tagged | 5 Comments

Working with my daughter

I’m going to embarrass my daughter.  She hates it when I write about her.  A boy might read it.  But I’m having tremendous fun right now, and want to share it. The Covey Center Blackbox is producing my play, The … Continue reading

Posted in Announcements, Literary Views of Scripture, On-stage, The Writer's Desk | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Funny Stuff: Benjamin Franklin and post-mortal sociality

As Mormons, we tend to clap our hands with delight when we discover new texts by old authors that seem compatible with our theology.  Such was my reaction when I found Benjamin Franklin’s charming piece of epistolary fiction, The Elysian … Continue reading

Posted in Funny Stuff, Storytelling and Community | Tagged , | 3 Comments