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 2006

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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

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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