BETHANY, W.Va. – Each year, during homecoming weekend, Bethany College hosts its annual Grimes Lecture Series. This year, Bethanians were graced by Rev. Dr. Larry E. Grimes ‘64 as he returned to campus to host the lecture himself—something he hasn’t done since the inaugural lecture in 2014. 

Grimes, a longtime Bethany English professor and renowned Hemingway Scholar, briefly spoke of his four decades of teaching at Bethany College before leading his audience in poem after poem encompassing over 50 years of his work.

Grimes retired and now lives in Colo., but he still maintains a strong relationship with the Christian Church in W.Va., serving on the Regional Board and the Commission of the Ministry. Grimes’ poetic collection, “Upon a Slender Stalk,” was published in 2022— which he paid ode to in this year’s lecture. 

Grimes enticed his listeners with poems left open-ended for thought. He encouraged them to find beauty not just in his poems and work, but in poetry as a whole. He divulged in theological poems, poems of love, and poems he wrote in times when he was unsure of the world and the events transpiring at that time. He touched on Bethany trails, mentioning hauling his bike cross country back to Bethany for a final ride during Homecoming 2022. 

Grimes concluded by saying his collections have been inspired by the world around him at that time— Bethany and beyond.