Waiter, there’s a poem in my soup!

Last month we told you about White Oak Kitchen & Cocktail’s idea for a one-of-a-kind perfect pairing this Valentine’s weekend: The buzzy restaurant proptitiously located at the corner of Peachtree and Baker streets downtown decided it would serve up some culture along with its luscious smoked quail and pots de creme by offering its first annual Prize in Southern Poetry. People living in Georgia and 12 other Southern states were invited to submit poems on the topic of love — “love of anything,” that is.

The winner, to be judged by published poet and Emory University’s Charles Howard Candler Professor of English & Creative Writing professor Kevin Young, would receive $1,500. Even better, White Oak said the winning poem would be prominently featured on its Valentine’s Day menu to run from Feb. 12-14.

On Friday, White Oak said it had received a staggering total of over 120 entries from Texas to Virginia. The winner, “Love Spell” by Shannon Ward of Fayetteville, N.C., writes of a place ” …where the sweetest mussels nestle/hiding from the sun like sleepy lovers.”

Said Young: “Lines like ‘Pilfer the fodder of the blue world until your bag is full’ are ones that make it both a valentine and a poem about life’s joys. Also: it made me hungry! Which is high praise indeed.”

Indeed. You can drink in the entire poem yourself on White Oak’s menu through Sunday. While there, you also can enjoy “The Evening of French Reds,” described by the restaurant, rather poetically itself, as”an impeccable French red wine selection, which Chef Todd Richards has prepared a decadent four-course dinner to accompany.”

For information or reservations call 404-524-7200 or visit www.whiteoakkitchen.com.

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