All Posts By

Jennifer L. Holberg

Essay

Jane Zwart: Our Ordinary Wonderfulness

Last night, my dear friend Jane Zwart was the host of Calvin's Named Scholarship Dinner--a time when college donors gather with the students whose scholarships they fund to celebrate together. As part of the evening, Jane gave a beautiful speech…
Calvin College
Essay

The Mourner’s Prayer

Throughout his worshipping life, Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz always stood up, each week, during the prayer of mourning. Though it is considered more traditional to only stand when one is personally grieving, Dr. Rabinowitz steadfastly rose nevertheless. He had no children…
Calvin College
Essay

The Stories We Tell

I spend a lot of my time thinking and teaching about the power of stories. The way, at their best, that they can move us to greater empathy, greater recognition of our neighbor and our neighbor's needs, and greater ability…
Calvin College
Essay

Donald Hall and the Fall

We're working hard already at the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing (which I get to co-direct) on the 30th anniversary edition of the Festival of Faith and Writing. If you have authors we should be considering, give us a…
Calvin College
Essay

Pride and Delight and Joy

Whenever I read biographies of writers (which, given my job as an English professor, is probably more often than the national average), I'm always interested in their friendships. I remember wondering as a girl what it must have been like…
Calvin College
Essay

The Language of Blackberries

Today, a poem for your consideration. It's a quite famous one by Galway Kinnell. It combines some of my favorite things: autumn, language, and blackberries. What experiences are essential to really make your autumn? What words are delighting you as…
Calvin College
Essay

What We Have Loved

"What we have loved, Others will love, and we will teach them how..." --William Wordsworth, The Prelude I’m starting to see a lot of first day of school pictures in my Facebook feed. I don’t start teaching for another couple…
Calvin College
Essay

Lament and Love

I pause today to honor the memory of Anya Krugovoy Silver, an extremely gifted poet and an incredible woman of faith, who died on Monday. She was only 49, much too young. I only ever got to see her at…
Calvin College
Essay

St. Martha Takes a Break

At first, I thought it was rather ironic that I’ll be on vacation on the feast day of the woman I consider my patron saint (in a completely Reformed way, naturally): St. Martha. But what’s a feast day for except,…
Calvin College
Essay

Small Steps at Great Cost

In the seemingly endless parade of things to watch, I want to recommend a recent addition to Netflix: “Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits.” Originally aired on BBC2 this past spring as “Secret Agent Selection,” the 5-part series is a…
Calvin College