Michaela Bailey is a Haitian-American girl from Chicago, Illinois. Her love of writing began as a branch of her love for film. This awakening occurred in an 826CHI workshop in 2016; analyzing and writing about her favorite movies opened the door for a new creative outlet. 826CHI is a writing center dedicated to amplifying the voices of students in Chicago. In this supportive environment, she was provided the tools and opportunities she needed to explore all corners of her ability. Bailey participates in 826CHI’s Teen Writers’ Studio (TWS), where high school students meet every other Monday to discuss current events, to read and analyze the works of other authors, and write their own pieces. Being in TWS has given Bailey the confidence she needed to find comfort in her voice and she has been published in many 826CHI collections.

Writing allows Bailey to work through personal issues along with providing an escape from those same issues. She enjoys writing fiction, but has lately found herself leaning toward poetry. In school, Bailey is one of the leaders of the Broadcasting Club, a class that involves film making, writing, and research (all arenas that she wholeheartedly enjoys). Producing and editing allows Bailey to explore many different forms of storytelling which translate into her creative writing perspectives.

Bailey is passionate about racism, immigration, class issues, and gender equality. She believes in amplifying the voices of the unheard, the forgotten, and the overlooked. She advocates equity over equality. Bailey often ponders a quote by Toni Cade Bambara, “Imagine for a minute what kind of society it is in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or seven. What do you think? [...] That this is not much of a democracy.”



by Michaela Bailey

your hair is beginning to grow past your ears.

it angers me almost as much as it brings a giddy smile to my face. it stretches every which way as it peeks out of your hood. i watch it bend and curve through your fingers when you pull at it. your fingers disappear in the overgrown mane.

your fingers, i imagine them linked with mine. in another time, space and place.

you throw your head back in laughter at my dumb jokes. the more you laugh, the more i love the sound.

your leg never stops bouncing, which would be annoying if i had any reason to believe you had control over it.

you actually never stop moving. you kick your desk and fold the edges of your papers. you crack your knuckles and tug at your earlobes.

your ears are pierced, i don’t like this.

your eyes are a deep brown. i never listen to a word you’re saying when you look me in the eyes. your words drown out and i begin to notice the flecks of gold as i watch your pupils grow and shrink.

you ask me if i agree with whatever you were talking about. i just nod, say yes and hope you weren’t planning human genocide.