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The Universal Solvent exemplifies poetry in its role as healer and provocateur. This collection is a narrative of the process of becoming fully human, chronicling the evolution of the soul. In the “My Secret Life As a Mystic Poet”, an essay commissioned by National Public Radio (NPR), Mr. Holman writes: "...The gift of universal insight, delivered locally, may be the greatest gift of all. Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi theologian and mystic wrote: 'Spring, and it's hard to be still, / With all the messages pouring through.... / Who am I standing in the midst of this thought-traffic?' I agree with Rumi on the visceral nature of creative and spiritual energy. Messages—and poems--do pour through. The poems are messengers from the soul--all flowing freely up and out like water from an artesian well, which requires no pumping. A poem emerges and my attention is called back to the wisdom of the soul and the tutelage of nature...." You will find within: poetry in various formats; an homage to Virgil's Georgics and to Shakespeare; perennial philosophy and Sufism; and a call to spiritual awakening, rendered with humor, clearly and well—and with modesty! "Rodney Holman's poetry is very well crafted, consistent in both voice and tone, and very smart". --Paul Beatty, author of The White Boy Shuffle and Big Bank Takes Little Bank "The language and tone are very strong and specific--every element works together here to create a tight articulation ...." --Joellen Craft, English Department, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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