Breaking Cover: Poems
by Michael Maul
85 poems ~ 126 pages
Format: 6’’ x 9” ~ Perfect Bound
Price: $15.00
Publisher: Amazon Books
ISBN: 9798831760415
To Order:


Breaking Cover is the third book of poetry written by award-winning poet Michael Maul. The collection is organized into four books, broadly separated into works thematically engaging universal experiences of love, aging, nature, family, complex relationships, the craft of writing and, yes, the living and cessation of life. In terms of tonality, Maul's contents range from humor to heartbreak to the shared grappling with many seminal challenges readers will easily recognize.


“This collection reveals the sharp and often disquieting observations of a true-to-the-bone poet. I was led to the cliffs of tragedy and heartbreak, and yet threads of hope and courage (and an exhale of acceptance) prevailed. "Anniversary Poem" alone is worth the price of admission. Highly recommended reading.”
–Beth Hoffman, author of New York Times Bestseller, Saving Ceecee Honeycutt (Penguin Books)

“Michael Maul has a special gift for making the quotidian poetic. He can also tackle the toughest stuff of life and find something there of beauty, something of comfort, even sometimes something to laugh about. His poems are just what we turn to poetry for: right words we cannot seem to find ourselves, and respite from the world.
–Ericka McIntyre, former Editor-in-Chief, Writer’s Digest

“What we learn from Michael Maul’s poems is that life resists neat organization. Death is tragedy, but there is always hope for those left behind. Adversity can be overcome. Comedy can be black. On the flipside, trivialities can unnerve and linger. Maul is skilled enough to mix and match, to master the complex interplay between events and emotions, to do what a good writer should: show us what we are not expecting to find.
–Jonathan Squirrell Hull, England, Mad Hatter Reviews

“There is a startling breadth of vision in the carefully crafted poems that make up Breaking Cover, Michael Maul’s delicately somber, moving collection of poetry. These poems draw us into worlds that are at once both nuanced and awe-inspiringly expansive. Breaking Cover contains phrases that I will remember, creates images that will haunt me and offers a careful exploration of experiences that I will be unable to forget. With exquisite agility Maul exhibits extraordinary power and range, and an acute understanding of exactly how to catch the poetry of the given moment. Inside these pages he is steady and assured throughout, his vision is clear, and his gently perceptive words are a joy to read.”
–Anne McMaster, Ulster, Northern Ireland, author, Walking Off the Land, published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press (UK)


Michael Maul is an award-winning writer. His poems have previously appeared in literary publications and anthologies in the U.S. as well as in Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia and India. He is a past winner of the Mercantile Library Prize for Fiction, and his work was selected for inclusion in Intro 4, an anthology of new voices published by The University of Virginia Press.

One of his works, “Anniversary Poem”, was listed in a year-end recap of top twelve favorite poems of 2018. Later that year, the same poem was also nominated to receive a Best of the Net award in poetry. Maul has also twice previously been longlisted for the annual Irish Fish Poetry Prize (County Cork, Ireland). And “Starter Angles”, a poem he wrote following the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting, was published on the npr poetry Twitter site.

He has participated in live poetry readings in multiple venues in Florida, Kentucky and Ohio, and also reads his work regularly in live Zoom events in multiple cities in the USA and the UK.

Michael Maul is a graduate of the Ohio University creative writing program, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He later held faculty and administrative positions at Ohio University (Athens, Ohio), The Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, Ohio), and Saint Louis University (St. Louis, Missouri).

Breaking Cover is his third book of poetry. It follows a previously published full collection in 2018 (Dancing Naked in Front of Dogs) and a chapbook in 2020 (Birds Who Eat French Fries).


Starter Angels
by Michael Maul
        Following an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas

I hope there are life-changing classes
for these hunted little ones
who bullets rained down upon,
under leaky schoolroom desks and chairs.

Afterward they move en masse
to learn now how to become
the better angels we so need
to call upon.

Where they once needed us
it is their job
to remind us now
to not give up, but try again.

It is asking a lot
of souls so small
though cleaner than those
that lingered longer here.

Learning now
how to be new angels
no longer fallen,
but risen up.

While we are quick to say
what can’t be done;
they just see
a million things plus one.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]