Card — check. Flowers — check. Candy — check. But sometimes you need a little something more to make your Valentine swoon. Maybe a bit of poetry, some music, a new book, a whimsical movie with Elton John songs.
Happily, all of these options — and more can be found all around town this weekend.
Now in stores
Wade Rouse’s memoir “It’s All Relative” will give you and your sweetheart plenty of hearty laughs (and maybe a tear or two) as the West Michigan author looks back on memorable holidays and shares his insights about love, family, gift giving, party planning and much more. If you’re looking for a scintillatingly sexy Valentines gift, Rouse has some valid advice: Hanes underwear will definitely not do the trick. But “It’s All Relative” just might. — James Sanford
Thursday, Feb. 10
The RCAHppella and the Center for Poetry present a night of love — and anti-love — songs and poetry at 7 p.m. in the RCAH Theater on Michigan State University’s campus. The event is free.
The staff will read poetry and the RCAHpella group will provide the music, although they’re not revealing their program just yet.
“They like to keep (what they are singing) a secret,” said Stephanie Glazier, the event coordinator. “A lot of people who come are their friends and they live together, so they try and keep an element of surprise.” — Alyssa Gienapp
WKAR staff, including general manager DeAnne Hamilton, will greet guests as they explore the Winter 2011 Masterwork Exhibition of “The Best of Friends: The Friends of Kresge Art Museum, beginning at 6 p.m. Jacon van Loo, Joel Meyrowitz, and Mason artist John Felsing are among the participating artists.
The exhibit showcases items spanning from third-century B.C. to 2008 and covering the cultures of three continents. Along with a gallery talk at 6:30 pm, there will be a variety of media, such as painting, photography and sculpture, as well as architectural elements, books, vessels and multi-media presentations. — Alyssa Gienapp
Friday, Feb. 11
OK, maybe it’s not Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. But you and your beloved might enjoy Disney’s zany animated romance "Gnomeo and Juliet," opening in theaters everywhere. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt lend their voices to the title characters, a pair of amorous ornaments from neighboring gardens in suburban London.
The storyline takes a few lighthearted liberties with Shakespeare (and students of English literature will enjoy the jokes at the Bard’s expense), although the basic framework is preserved. Those who prefer rocking to reading can savor a couple of new songs from Elton John, as well as a playful score that incorporates snippets of such classics as "Rocket Man," "Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting" and "Your Song." It’s a fun date movie — even if you’re a couple who has to bring along some young "chaperones." — James Sanford
Saturday, Feb. 12
Schuler Books & Music at Meridian Mall (1982 W. Grand River Ave. in Okemos) hosts a reading at 3 p.m. by Hugh Fox, from his new poetry monograph "Approaching: Poems of Brazil."
A retired Micigan State Universty professor in the Department of American Thought and Language, Fox has published dozens of books. "Approaching" will be issued in both English and Portuguese editions.
This reading also falls on Fox’s 79th birthday, and attendees are welcome to join him in a cake and punch reception. — Alyssa Gienapp
The Atrium Event Center in Okemos will host jazz saxophonist Yancyy for a pre-Valentine’s Day concert at 7:30 p.m.
Battle Creek dancers Karissa and Alexis Lee will also perform. The $25 ticket gets you wine, champagne and dinner. For more information go to www.theatriumcenter.com. — Alyssa Gienapp
Sunday Feb. 13
Wanderer’s Teahouse hosts a Valentine’s Afternoon Wellness Tea, with a special blended tea for happiness and harmony.
There will be seatings at noon and 3 pm. Couples can enjoy special food offerings, all following the Valentine’s Day theme.
Vocalist Nicole Matthews, will also be on hand to perform some ballads.
Every person who comes to the tea will receive a coupon for a free partners Tai Chi class taught by Wanderer’s co-owner, Elizabeth Marazita. — Alyssa Gienapp
MICA Gallery in Lansing’s old town will hold its 19th year of “Burning Desires: An Afternoon of Love Poetry (erotic and otherwise).”
Poets and performance artists from around mid-Michigan will participate.
Doors open at noon and words start at 1 p.m. A $5 donation is requested at the door and refreshments will be provided. — Alyssa Gienapp
Monday, Feb. 14
Award-winning poet Irene McKinney reads at 7 p.m. in the RCAH Theater on MSU’s campus.
McKinney will be reading primarily from her newest book “Unthinkable,” which is a collection of works from 1976-2004, according to Grace Pappalardo, the Outreach intern for the Center for Poetry. — Alyssa Gienapp