book review: cathedral

I meant to post this on December 18th – Cathedral‘s official release date… one speech tournament, a set of finals, and a broken computer later, here it is at last. Forgive the delay.

I had the privilege of reading this lovely book of poetry a little before it released, and I am so pleased to get to share it with you! As of 12/18/21, Cathedral, by Maya Joelle, is officially released to the public and available for purchase here. It’s really quite a unique and moving read, and you’ll get a chance to read my thoughts later on… but first, the book itself. Behold, its cover:


Cathedral is a collection of poetry and creative prose about beauty in the midst of grief and joy in the face of great sorrow.

oh brave one,
oh broken, beautifully brave one,
remember that no matter how tiny the fragments this time,
how far apart they are scattered,
how long you must search,
he will help you find the pieces of the person you once were
and the image you once bore.
// to the broken ones

Cathedral‘s playlist
Cathedral‘s Pinterest board
Add or purchase Cathedral on Goodreads or Amazon.


Maya Joelle is a wordsmith, bookdragon, and avid forest enthusiast from Michigan. In addition to poetry, she writes high fantasy novels and short stories that turn into novels. When she’s not writing or studying, she is often found marveling at the beauty of creation through the wonders of nature, music, and friendship. She writes poems to remind herself and others of God’s goodness amidst pain and sorrow, for the glory of the Author who knows the ending of her story.

(This convenient little link will show you all the places you can find, follow, and connect with Maya.)


I wish I had adequate words to express how deeply Maya Joelle’s debut book of poetry touched me. I opened my copy not knowing what to expect, but certainly not expecting the level of quality and depths I found in its pages. Suffice to say, I was blown away.

We are spinning at a speed we cannot comprehend
Dizzily turning
Somehow we are yet alive.
Can anyone understand this mercy?
How we spin round through a sea of stars
And yet stand incredibly still
And see the sky

From "Fire and Awe"

Cathedral combines deep thoughts, lyrical writing, and raw, accessible truth in a way that’s truly masterful. Every piece has its own meaning, some so real and relatable they were painful to read… yet woven together as they are, they create a beautiful whole that’s threaded with hope. Reading Cathedral, I felt like I was reading my deepest struggles in poetry… and it brought me to tears, time after time, to relive them, but also to be reminded of how God redeems them.

God is enough.
When you’re broken on the ground —
God is enough.
When you feel forgotten —
God is enough.
When you keep trying but it’s all so much and you just 
can’t get better and maybe you don’t even want to get better 
and you keep falling and falling again and again and again —
God. Is. Enough.
When you speak into the silence, he hears you. In the 
darkness, he is the sun. When you hurt, he shares your pain. 
In your brokenness, he loves you.
In your sin he sees you.
And as you choose the path of destruction yet again,
He dies for you.

From "Enough {II}"

How beautiful, how encouraging to catch a glimpse of the heart of a fellow sister in Christ who struggles, as we all do – and yet to see the Gospel so evident, the beating heart of her poetry and the foundation of her life.

This is a very special book – unassuming, humble, but with a quiet power and beauty. I think that you’ll find it, as I did, well worth your time if you choose to pick it up.

Cover photo by JF Martin on Unsplash

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