The English Department of Dordt College believes that "nothing matters but the kingdom of God, but because of the kingdom, everything, literally everything, matters." (Gordon Spykman, Dordt College commencement 1988, "Kingdoms in Conflict")

From that perspective, we teach students how to read poems, stories, plays, and essays. Such reading requires examining how an author uses language to create imagined worlds and to communicate meaning. It also requires that the reader examine how literature from a variety of time periods and cultures challenges or affirms our values and enriches our lives. We aim to foster life-long reading in all our students.

We also demand that students respond to specific selections they read as well as to the broader world in which they live. Thus we teach our students to write poems, stories, essays, and research papers, all of which may help them articulate their Christian understanding of literature and life.

Because we expect all of our graduates will write for publication, we aim to teach them to write clearly, concisely, and forcefully so that the ideas they express and the causes they represent will be advanced.

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Submissions from 1996

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Wester Home Place, James C. Schaap

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Worship, Mike Vanden Bosch

Submissions from 1995

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Cocoon, Lorna Van Gilst

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Doing Justice, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Human Nature, Mike Vanden Bosch

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January Heat, John Van Rys

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My Life as a Boy Soprano, David Schelhaas

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Nesting, Lorna Van Gilst

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On Being Beaten by the Beat, John Van Rys

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Out of the Depths, John Van Rys

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Polonius Syndrome, John Van Rys

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Space, James C. Schaap

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Take This Bread, Jeri Schelhaas

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Ukranian Root Cellar, Lorna Van Gilst

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Who Neighbor?, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Working With Wood, John Van Rys

Submissions from 1994

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Body Language, Lorna Van Gilst

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Coca Cola, Martin Luther King, and the American Dream, David Schelhaas

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Contemporary Literary Theory: A Christian Appraisal (Book Review), John Van Rys

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Fellow Creature Comfort--Night Music, John Van Rys

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Fighting Spirit, Mike Vanden Bosch

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God Talk: The Triteness and Truth in Christian Cliches (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Have Mercy, John Van Rys

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Home, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Inside Out, John Van Rys

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Kharkov Park, Lorna Van Gilst

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Nether Regions, John Van Rys

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Night Walking, John Van Rys

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November 8, 1993: Snow Again, Bob De Smith

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Paralysis, John Van Rys

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Putting the Sioux in Center: The Games We Play, Bob De Smith

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Road, John Van Rys

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Shot Lady, Lorna Van Gilst

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Silent Passengers (Book Review), David Schelhaas

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Sisyphus at Home, Bob De Smith

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Still Life, James C. Schaap

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To Arnold S., the man who sees things, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Traveling Mercies, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Wood, John Van Rys

Submissions from 1993

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Debits and Credits, John Van Rys

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Half-Hearted Semi-Vegetarian Meditates on Bread, John Van Rys

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Hangin' in There (For My Father), Bob De Smith

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Happily Ever After: The Last Chapter of the Best Story, David Schelhaas

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Hewer, Bob De Smith

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How to Praise, Mike Vanden Bosch

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In Green Pastures, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Love Poem for a Woman Who Knows Me Too Well, John Van Rys

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Making Hay, Mike Vanden Bosch

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March Fog: Siouxland, John Van Rys

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Marigold I, John Van Rys

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Mind Games, Jeri Schelhaas

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nonresident alien, John Van Rys

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Old Man Facing Death, David Schelhaas

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Other Worlds, Lorna Van Gilst

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Pearls Before Swine, Lorna Van Gilst

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Port Huron Entry Point, John Van Rys

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Quincy, David Schelhaas

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Sky Dance, David Schelhaas

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Temptation, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 1992

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Robert Frost's "Irresistible Impossibility", David Schelhaas

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Thousand Acres and The Bridges of Madison County (Book Reviews), James C. Schaap

Submissions from 1991

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Centennial Anthem, James C. Schaap

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Coffee Time, Lorna Van Gilst

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Endurance Test, Lorna Van Gilst

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Farewell, Cousin Nick, Mike Vanden Bosch

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FourthofJulyreunion, Lorna Van Gilst

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Grace, Mike Vanden Bosch

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His Hand, Bob De Smith

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Homebody, Jeri Schelhaas

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Kitchen Table Farming, Lorna Van Gilst

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Living Words, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Melons in the Seed, David Schelhaas

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Memorial, James C. Schaap

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Monarchs, Bob De Smith

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Monday Morning, Bob De Smith

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Old Earth, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Only She, Bob De Smith

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Rag Rug, David Schelhaas

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Song of the Publican, 1990s, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Suspicion, Mike Vanden Bosch

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To Aunt Grace, Called to Sing for Funerals, Mike Vanden Bosch

Submissions from 1990

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Cornerstones, Cannons, and Covenants: The Puritan Clergy as Cultural Guardians, Helen Petter Westra

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Forty Acres and a Goat: A Memoir (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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History of Dordt College: The B.J. Haan Years, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Homecoming Man (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Returning: A Spiritual Journey (Book Review), James C. Schaap

Submissions from 1989

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Chinese Wood Cut, Helen Petter Westra

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Compound Life, Helen Petter Westra

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Fables for God's People (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Forgiving, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Giving Birth, Helen Petter Westra

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Gophered, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Gulf Streams, Helen Petter Westra

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Hartman Cemetery, January, 1980, Bob De Smith

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Heirloom, Lorna Van Gilst

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Illuminated Manuscript, David Schelhaas

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Iron Blossoms, Helen Petter Westra

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Learning to Wait, Helen Petter Westra

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Mother Amuck, Mike Vanden Bosch

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November's Thursday, James C. Schaap