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 1990

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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

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Old China Hands, Helen Petter Westra

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Ornamental Crab Tree, David Schelhaas

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Piano Lessons, Lorna Van Gilst

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Pine Haven in March, Bob De Smith

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Potato Salad, Helen Petter Westra

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Rachel's Dance (a palace coming alive), Helen Petter Westra

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Seeing Double, Helen Petter Westra

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Stranger in a Strange Land (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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To J. C., My Boyhood Teacher, With Love, Mike Vanden Bosch

Submissions from 1988

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Chosen for Life: An Introductory Guide to the Doctrine of Divine Election (Book Review), Helen Petter Westra

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C. S. Lewis and His World (Book Review), Lorna Van Gilst

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Flannery O'Connor: Images of Grace (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Literature and the "Good Society", Mike Vanden Bosch

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Through a Glass Lightly (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were (Book Review), Helen Petter Westra

Submissions from 1987

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"Able to Keep", Mike Vanden Bosch

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Afoot, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Church, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Cold Meats, James C. Schaap

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Companion Sonnets, Mike Vanden Bosch

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D'irth, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Feathers Bloom, Helen Petter Westra

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Fishbowl, Helen Petter Westra

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for Jack Vanden Berg on his retirement, Randall VanderMey

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I Am Not Ashamed: Advice to Timothy (Book Review), Helen Petter Westra

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Iowa Bounty, Helen Petter Westra

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Meishan Window Panes, Helen Petter Westra

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Mother China, Helen Petter Westra

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Nonetheless in Chengdu, Helen Petter Westra

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Sonnet to Jack, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Victorian Age: An Age of Purity or of Hypocrisy?, Jack Vanden Berg

Submissions from 1986

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John Gardner and the Morality of Choice, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 1985

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Jonathan Edwards' Sermons: Search for "Acceptable Words", Helen Petter Westra

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Looking Back to See Ourselves, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 1984

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Cathedral (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Christ and Culture (second part), James C. Schaap

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Christ and Culture: William Bradford, John Winthrop, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards in Theological Perspective, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 1983

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Campsite, 2 AM, Bob De Smith

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Gas-Engine Mike, Bob De Smith

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Haiku, Randall VanderMey

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Metaphor, Randall VanderMey

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Monarch Moves, Randall VanderMey

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Scouting the Other, Randall VanderMey

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Snow and Thunder, Randall VanderMey

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Sonnet to Shakespeare, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Stained Glass, James C. Schaap

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Walking the Fence, Randall VanderMey

Submissions from 1982

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All Hallows' Eve (Book Review), Jack Vanden Berg

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Art Lecture Series, Lillian V. Grissen

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Dr. Emory Griffen, Lillian V. Grissen

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Literature and the Reformed Community, Lillian V. Grissen

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Prophecy and Irony, Lillian V. Grissen

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Rainbows for the Fallen World and Art in Action (Book Reviews), James Vanden Bosch

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Road We Travel, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Solzhenitsyn: The Moral Vision (Book Review), James Vanden Bosch

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Spiritual Nature of Man (Book Review), James Vanden Bosch

Submissions from 1981

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Addicted to Mediocrity: Twentieth Century Christians and the Arts (Book Review), James Vanden Bosch

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African Liberation Theology, Lillian V. Grissen

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At the Crossroad: A Visit by Larry Woiwode, Randall VanderMey

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Consecration, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Dilemma of the Female Christian College Graduate, Lillian V. Grissen

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Elegy: Written for Unknown Babies, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Farewell, Dear Stan, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Homesickness, Hugh Cook

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Legal Tender, Randall VanderMey

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Psalm 143, James Vanden Bosch

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Religion and Commitment, Lillian V. Grissen

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Sonnet: To Nick, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Strange Chorale, Randall VanderMey

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Thief in the Night of Words, Randall VanderMey

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Triumphs of the Imagination: Literature in Christian Perspective (Book Review), Randall VanderMey

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Untitled, Randall VanderMey

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Villanelle for CSI Convention: 1981, Mike Vanden Bosch

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White Dog Song, Randall VanderMey

Submissions from 1980

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De Boer and Faber Lecture, Lillian V. Grissen

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Faith and Fiction: The Modern Short Story (Book Review), James Vanden Bosch

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Gypsies (Book Review), James Vanden Bosch

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Howells' Debate With Himself About God, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Lionel Trilling: Criticism and Politics (Book Review), James Vanden Bosch

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Retreat, Lillian V. Grissen

Submissions from 1979

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Faith and Victory in Dachau (Book Review), Jack Vanden Berg

Submissions from 1978

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Basic English Revisited: A Student Handbook (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Captured (Book Review), Jack Vanden Berg

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Country of the Risen King: An Anthology of Christian Poetry (Book Review), Betty Vander Schaaf