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 2008

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Dog Days, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Earth Blood, Howard Schaap

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Family Farm, Howard Schaap

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Finding Mother in Busan, Mary Dengler

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First Day of Summer, Leah A. Zuidema

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Flippant Joke Reveals Callous Mindset, Luke DeKoster

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Go Ahead, Take My Freedom - I'm not a Terrorist, Luke DeKoster

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Guard, Bob De Smith

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Hearing Things, Bob De Smith

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His Holy Temples, David Schelhaas

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Lincoln County, Bill Elgersma

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Me and My Tribe, James C. Schaap

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Mother's Day, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Near Unto God, James C. Schaap and Abraham Kuyper

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Nonrockaboatus, Bill Elgersma

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November Rock, Bill Elgersma

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Simple Breath, Howard Schaap

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Sixty at Sixty: A Boomer Reflects on the Psalms, James C. Schaap

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So Here We Two are at 50, Bob De Smith

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West Meets East in Grace Beyond Belief, Mary Dengler

Submissions from 2007

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Aguacero, Lorna Van Gilst

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Always, James C. Schaap

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Apprentices, Bill Elgersma

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Aujourd'hui, Bill Elgersma

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Canto, Mary Dengler

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Crossed Sticks, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Divided by a Common Heritage: The Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America at the Beginning of the New Millennium (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Forever, James C. Schaap

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Fresh Harbor, Mary Dengler

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Frost Like Ashes: Review Essay of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, James C. Schaap

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God of Material Things, David Schelhaas

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Gone Gentle, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Hair, 1956, David Schelhaas

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Lorna, Mary Dengler

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Mixed Blood, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Mortality, Leah A. Zuidema

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Old Country, Bill Elgersma

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Old Glory, Mary Dengler

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On Planning a Daily Poetry Class Schedule for the Last Third of the Semester, David Schelhaas

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Reformed Defense of Literature: An Apology for Literature's Place in Christian Higher Education, Mary Dengler

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Still Waters, James C. Schaap

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What About a Bicentennial? Mr. and Mrs. CRC, James C. Schaap

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What People Say, James C. Schaap

Books from 2006

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Crossing Over: Stories of Asian Refugee Christians, James C. Schaap

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Death Promises, Mike Vanden Bosch

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English Rose, Lorna Van Gilst

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Garden a Tire, Lorna Van Gilst

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Heavenly Preaching, James C. Schaap

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Lament for Floyd, Mike Vanden Bosch

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My Prayers, Bob De Smith

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New Earth, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Not Jealous Lovers, Bill Elgersma

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Not Yet Home, Luke DeKoster

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Peanut Butter Sandwich, Bob De Smith

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: December 2--Dawn, After Six Inches of Snow, David Schelhaas

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: February 9--Ash Wednesday, David Schelhaas

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: January 20--Clear and Bright, David Schelhaas

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: November 15--First Snowfall, David Schelhaas

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Rancor, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Rock, Bill Elgersma

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Still Dancing, Mary Dengler

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Storms, James C. Schaap

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Summer Spoils, Mary Dengler

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Tending, Bill Elgersma

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Transformation, James C. Schaap

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Westward Ho, Jeri Schelhaas

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What the Sky Says, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 2005

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Alien Species, Lorna Van Gilst

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Consumation, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Deadline, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Examining the Skills, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Developmental Writing Students at a Midwestern Private College, William P. Elgersma

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Finding Something, James C. Schaap

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Girls' Club, Bill Elgersma

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Grounded, Bill Elgersma

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Hurricane Litter: A Eulogy, Mary Dengler

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La Lluvia in la Selva, Lorna Van Gilst

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Lament for Art, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Made Ya Look!, Bob De Smith

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Need, Bob De Smith

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On Gathering, Bill Elgersma

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Parade, Lorna Van Gilst

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: February 16--Clear and Bright, David Schelhaas

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: February 28--Gray with a Few Snowflakes in the Air, David Schelhaas

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: February 9--Ash Wednesday, David Schelhaas

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Poems I Found on My Way to Work: January 31--Icy, the Temperature Just at Freezing, David Schelhaas

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Sisters: A Tribute, Mary Dengler

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Spider Webs, Skies, and Seas: A Eulogy, Mary Dengler

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"Whither?" Some Thoughts on the Genre of Literature in an Electronic Age, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 2004

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At Peace in the Tumult of the World, David Schelhaas

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Called Up, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Edwards for Our Time: A Review Essay, James C. Schaap

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Harvest, Bill Elgersma

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Her Grip, David Schelhaas

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Little Big Girls, Bill Elgersma

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Mantle: A Meditation, Mary Dengler

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On Avenida 4, Lorna Van Gilst

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Pool Day, Mary Dengler

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Rollover, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Sanctified, Sarah Den Boer

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She, Sioux Center, Sarah Den Boer