Shandle Chapman began writing when she was 14 to process and address strong feelings. Her first poem was about a young man – a crush – who was in a car accident and later passed away from the injuries.
The teenage years are a common time for people to try their hand at poetry, and for some, practicing the art form continues into adulthood. Such is the case with Chapman.
"I have always used poetry as a way to heal," says Chapman. "My intention is to help others heal as well."
In December of 2018, Chapman released a book of poetry called "Muddy Wings." It is available for sale here.
"After walking a long road of bad decisions, I rested and made peace with myself," she wrote in the book’s forward. "I was tired of the circles and chasing desires located within arm’s reach. I decided to reflect."
This weekend, Chapman – who is now a grown woman and the mother of two sons – will offer two breakfast book signing events in Milwaukee. On Friday, April 19 she will host at Coffee Makes You Black, 2803 N. Teutonia Ave., from 8 to 11 a.m.
And on Saturday, April 20, she will be at Rise & Grind Café, 2737 N. Martin Luther King Dr., from 8 a.m. to noon. (It’s also her birthday!)
Chapman was born in Laurel, Mississippi and raised in Milwaukee. She gradated from Riverside University High School in 1999 and studied at Alverno College before moving to South Florida. During her studies, she was deeply inspired by numerous female writers, including Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni.
Currently, Chapman lives in West Palm Beach where she is a health care professional. Occasionally, like this weekend, Chapman travels back to Milwaukee to visit family and friends.
And returning "home" always results in poetry for Chapman.
"I wrote my first poem in Milwaukee long ago and it always brings up a lot of need for creative expression," says Chapman. "Writing is my release and my way of expressing how I feel. It’s very therapeutic."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.