February 2, 2010 Love Poems and Romance Movie "Bright Star" Celebrate Valentine's Day at Library of Congress, Feb. 9

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Patricia Gray (202) 707-5394

The annual noontime “Love Poems” reading at the Library of Congress will feature a special guest who recently received a diamond ring as a grand prize in a national love-letter-writing contest. After the reading, the Library will show the romance movie “Bright Star.”

Kate Harding of Nantucket will read her award-winning entry and poets Heddy Reid and Margaret Mackinnon will present a sampling of classic and contemporary love poems at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground level of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Harding, an anthropologist and media producer, received a $5,000 diamond ring as the grand prize in the Be My Bright Star Love Letter Contest. The contest was part of a promotional campaign for “Bright Star,” a movie that opened last fall about poet John Keats and the love of his life, Fanny Brawne. “Bright Star” will be shown following the reading, compliments of DVD distributor Sony Pictures.

The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

“Love Poems” also features Reid, a longtime resident of Washington, D.C., and Mackinnon, of Falls Church, Va.

Reid is the author of the chapbook “A Far Cry” (2007). Her poems have appeared in many publications including Alimentum Journal, Yankee Magazine and Sun and Moon. Reid has worked as a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, and she has led writing workshops in Washington, D.C. and New York.

Mackinnon’s work has appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Georgia Review and other journals. She completed the graduate program in creative writing at the University of Florida, and teaches writing and literature at the Academy of the Holy Cross. Mackinnon has received scholarships and fellowships from three writers’ conferences and has been awarded a residency this summer at the Vermont Studio Center.

To learn more about the love-letter contest, visit www.brightstar-movie.com/contest/.

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress administers the poetry series, which began in the 1940s and is the oldest in the Washington area and among the oldest in the United States. The readings and lectures are free and have been largely supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall.


PR 10-027
ISSN 0731-3527