170573Micayla Shevlin ’17 thought she was applying for a scholarship, but it turns out that the poem she submitted captured the judges’ attention so much that they published it in the National Poetry Quarterly, appropriately called Just Poetry!!!

Her poem, Alive, also appeared in the winter anthology published by the American High School Poets’ Society.

“It was a thrill to be published,” Micayla says. “It was so cool to open the book and see my poem on the first page. It was kind of emotional.”

While Micayla’s poem now will appear in two national publications of high school poetry, she, unfortunately, did not win the $2,500 scholarship she was seeking, which went to the first place winner.

However, she may have found her voice.

“I know now that I want to make writing my career,” Micayla says. “I had been thinking about physical therapy, but now I’m sure. I want to go into journalism or communications, with a minor in creative writing.”

She started writing short stories as a young child and wrote her first poem in middle school at Our Lady of the Wayside School. She continued writing poetry at Saint Viator, especially in AP Language and Composition class.

Last year, Micayla and some of her classmates helped to start Inklings, a creative writing club moderated by Mr. Chris Paolelli. The club meets once a month on Thursdays when students are given a prompt to craft a short story or poem around.

The unique club has helped bring writers together and offered them another bonus: experience in writing creatively that has proved valuable on college essays.

Poetry has offered Micayla a different outlet of expression than her passion for Irish dancing. She is a championship dancer with Trinity Irish Dance and has performed internationally, and now she teaches young dancers.

Her father, Mike Shevlin ’86, is in the publishing industry and co-hosts a weekly radio show, Windy City Irish Radio Hour. He serves on the Board at the Irish American Heritage Center (IAHC), and is heavily involved in the planning for their Irish Fest every summer. Micayla’s grandfather was the founding President of the IAHC and helped Br. Dale Barth, CSV, run Bingo nights in the 70’s and 80’s.

Micayla, however, prefers to express herself quietly, through poetry.

“I like the rhythm of poetry and how you can make it into anything you want,” Micayla says. “I can describe my feelings and emotions, or create an image, and all in short, concise sentences.”

Read Micayla’s poem, Alive, below.

She was a girl like no other.
Almond eyes. Plump lips.
A notebook always in hand.
She had a mystery to her that
no one cared to solve.
However, she felt it was her duty to solve the
world’s mystery.
Wide smile. Quiet feet. Freckled cheeks.
Tears stain paper.
Pain blemishes memory.
She breathes in his scent like the air
she needs to live.
Toxic, but addicting.
Her brown hair sticks to pink lip gloss &
eyelashes flutter as if
she doesn’t want to see the world in front of her.
Skin pale and soft,
veins pumping blood to extinguish the chill
in her fingertips.
Her voice is small,
but firm. Gentle.
Thoughts wash
over the shore &
create waves her crowded mind.
She only thinks of him.
She has fears of being forgotten,
only whispers traveling in the breeze.
Knit eyebrows in concentration.
Cracking of fingers. Confidence & determination.
Her eyes a sparkling green searching for answers.
A believer in fate, in karma. In God.
Toes curl, lips quiver with the chattering of teeth.
Goosebumps form with a shrill of ice.
His touch.
A fog upon her thinking.
Excited eyes meet hers and she’s home.
She was a girl like no other.
Almond eyes. Plump lips.
Dreaming of a love as unique as she is.
A love that is Alive.