February 6 — Cristina Norcross (www.FirkinFiction.com) of Oconomowoc, WI, will celebrate the release of her third book, Unsung Love Songs, at 7 p.m. at The Artavina Gallery, 378 Main St., Waukesha, WI. This collection of poems celebrates the quiet, everyday moments of love and how the recognition of this deep, abiding calmness can be the heart’s biggest flourish of all. Cristina Norcross will give a reading from her new book following live music by Nick Scholz and Shino Ishioka. Intermission will feature the ukulele stylings of special guest, Eric Raskopf, as well as a fine wine and gourmet chocolate tasting.  After intermission there will be a poetry open mic. Bring your original, love-themed poems or read a love poem by one of your favorite authors. RSVP to author@firkinfiction.com to get your name on the poetry open mic list.

February 19 — Jennifer Salima Holt will discuss her inspirational book Sacred Gateway of Grief and Loss: Freeing the Imprisoned Soul at 7:30 p.m. at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis [612.822.4611, www.magersandquinn.com]. This book describes the breakthroughs Jennifer witnessed by leading grief and loss groups for women prisoners. Many personal stories of miraculous change, love and light fill the book, as well as practical information about how each one of us can approach our grief and loss in sacred, loving ways. Sacred Gateway is a deeply felt, loving testament to the power and beauty of the human spirit to survive and even thrive, regardless of the depths to which we may tumble. At the event, Jennifer Salima will also perform spiritual chants inspired by her work with the prisoners (available on her CD, Ecstatic Groove: Sacred World Chant Infusions). Jennifer Salima Holt holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She has volunteered within the U.S. prison system extensively, and also served for many years as a death and dying midwife. She was the founder and leader of feminist folk-punk band Tetes Noires in the 1980s. Learn more about her at www.jennifersalimaholt.com.

February 23 — The Big Bang Book Club discusses the book Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet at 7 p.m. at Grumpy’s Downtown, 1111 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis. Eating the Sun is the story of photosynthesis — a celebration of how the smallest things, enzymes and pigments, influence the largest things, the oceans, the rain forests, and the fossil fuel economy. Oliver Morton offers a fascinating, lively, profound look at nature’s greatest miracle and sounds a much-needed call to arms– illuminating a potential crisis of climatic chaos and explaining how we can change our situation, for better or for worse. The Big Bang Book Club is a monthly book club for non-scientists that relishes in folding arts and science into a heady brew.

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