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 2004

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Untitled, Sarah Den Boer

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Watching the Government at Work, Sarah Den Boer

Books from 2003

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Angling in the English Stream: 100 Ordinary English Words: Caught, Filleted, and Served Up in Tasty Little Essays, David Schelhaas

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Baby Steps in Prairie Grass, James C. Schaap

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Cinco de Mayo in Iowa, Lorna Van Gilst

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Corte el Pasto/Cut the Grass, Lorna Van Gilst

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Credo, Jeri Schelhaas

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Gravity, Mike Vanden Bosch

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In Good Taste, Lorna Van Gilst

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Jose, Mary Dengler

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Last Sun, Bill Elgersma

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Like Grass, John Van Rys

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Sometimes I Think I'm All Right, Bob De Smith

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Sons of our Father, Bill Elgersma

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Steele Prairie Dawn, James C. Schaap

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Theology, Jeri Schelhaas

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Toward Home, David Schelhaas

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Van De Stroets of Settlers Township, James C. Schaap

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Waiting, John Van Rys

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Walk Up, Mary Dengler

Submissions from 2002

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All Nature Sings, David Schelhaas

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Animal Rites, Mike Vanden Bosch

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At the Tia Nicota, Lorna Van Gilst

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Buddies, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Children's Dreams, Mary Dengler

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Jocund Day, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Late July, Jeri Schelhaas

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Lessons in Second Language, Lorna Van Gilst

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Mother, Lorna Van Gilst

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Old Girls, Mary Dengler

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One O'clock Waltz, Bill Elgersma

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On Your Birthday, Dave, Bob De Smith

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Picnic, Jeri Schelhaas

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St. Jacobs, Bill Elgersma

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Wasicu at Chankpe Opi: A While Man at Wounded Knee, James C. Schaap

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Wasps' Nest, Bob De Smith

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When a Spider is Only a Spider, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 2001

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Cycles of Grace, Mary Dengler

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Cyclone, Mary Dengler

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Eclipsed, Lorna Van Gilst

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First Bride, James C. Schaap

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Hate Crime, David Schelhaas

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"Here are the Fire and Wood", Bob De Smith

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Holidays, Mike Vanden Bosch

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How to Welcome, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Thank You Note, David Schelhaas

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Veiled, Lorna Van Gilst

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Visit, Mary Dengler

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Visitant, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Zoned Residential, Lorna Van Gilst

Submissions from 2000

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Because the Unseen May Vanish, David Schelhaas

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Boy in the Wind, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Home in Alfalfa (Book Review), John Van Rys

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Jane Austen's Falling Women, Mary Dengler

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Narene, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Once, They Had Been Friends, James C. Schaap

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Reading at Dusk, David Schelhaas

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Regimes of Truth and the Rhetoric of Deceit -- From a Literary Perspective, John Van Rys

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Sacrament of Grace, Mary Dengler

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Sherwood Anderson: Back Home to Winesburg, James C. Schaap

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Stones for Bread, Lorna Van Gilst

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To My Tibia, Lorna Van Gilst

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Total Immersion, Lorna Van Gilst

Submissions from 1999

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Bedeviled, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Chapter 11, EXODUS, James C. Schaap

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Feeling the Subtext, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Good Friday, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Justice for All, Lorna Van Gilst

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One Piano, Two Sisters, Four Hands, Lorna Van Gilst

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On the Deck, David Schelhaas

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Pro Tem, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Recycled, Lorna Van Gilst

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Right Hand, Bob De Smith

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Walking On, Lorna Van Gilst

Submissions from 1998

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At Dusk, David Schelhaas

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Disconnected, Lorna Van Gilst

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Elder Brother, Mike Vanden Bosch

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For Jill who died on March 1, 1998, Jeri Schelhaas

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Lament for Bert, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Naked Ladies, David Schelhaas

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Our Family Album: The Unfinished Story of the Christian Reformed Church, James C. Schaap

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Submission, Lorna Van Gilst

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To Robinson Jeffers, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Treasures I Should Not Have, Lorna Van Gilst

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War Games, Mike Vanden Bosch

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What He Needed to Say, James C. Schaap

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Worldview, Lorna Van Gilst

Submissions from 1997

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Being Towed Along, Bob De Smith

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Bird-watch, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Entrepreneur, Lorna Van Gilst

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False Alarm, James C. Schaap

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Glimpses of an Andean City, Lorna Van Gilst

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Going Back to A Thousand Acres, James C. Schaap

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Just a Thought, Bob De Smith

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Keeping the Record, Lorna Van Gilst

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None Dare Ask, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Robertson Davies: At War With Orthodoxies, John Van Rys

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To Love, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Valiant, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Wendell Berry's Beloved Community, David Schelhaas