Chyrel J. Jackson and Lyris D. Wallace are avid lovers, readers, and writers of African American Literature. They grew up in a Southern Suburb of Chicago, IL. Country Club Hills. As young girls, they read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Judy Blume novels. College was the real scholastic awakening introducing these two Literary Enthusiasts to the Literary works of their great ancestors: James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, and Sonia Sanchez. These writers influenced Chyrel and Lyris so much. It only makes sense that they would now be writing in the Spirit of these ancestors. Giving a voice to social issues that plague our modern time.
Their latest self-published work a book of poetry is Different Sides of the Same Coin. It is a modern and sassy collage of poetry as experienced from the Black female perspective of 2 sisters and authors. This timeless collection of poems is refreshing and unique. Different Sides of the Same Coin is a soul-searing and heartwarming work of new-age black voice and spoken word. This adaptation highlights the human experience of life, love, loss, parting, and sorrow. Timeless wording, honestly written with a little of the unexpected. Black Expression has never been more vibrant, relevant, and real. This work is an interesting twist on the Harlem Renaissance revisited as it collides with 2020 social struggles and conditions of our current time. In no short order, we are reminded of why written and spoken word is so vital to the sustenance of African American Literature.
They have written for much of their adult lives. Political Opinion Editorials, Book Reviews, Romance Novels, Television Show Treatments, Journaling, and Poetry are what these sisters enjoy writing best. When asked why they write? Their answer, they write for visibility. They write to say they are present in the world. Their lives and stories matter.
Chyrel and Lyris want to be a voice for all those who feel they have something of value to say but aren’t capable of putting it in their own words. Words surpass life, love, and loss. Whether written, spoken, or sung may the readers of our written words find healing and comfort in our poems.
Writers are born when life intersects with time and chance. You will always find them doing what they love reading, and writing. Writing, and telling stories is how they fulfill their divine purpose. You can’t ignore what is so visible and undeniable. Writing saved us at our lowest points in living. We hope to provide healing through our writing. We want to uplift others through their pain as writing has uplifted us and provided great healing in times of profound despair and hurt. Throughout the passage of time words remain.
PWH: What inspired you to start writing?
THEM: Life was our greatest inspiration.
Lyris was experiencing great hardship and pain and started writing as a means of better understanding what was happening to her. She wanted to better understand her.
PWH: What is the story behind “Different Sides of the same coin?”
THEM: Not a story exactly but a narrative from a black woman’s perspective of what we experience as human beings during the course of living. For example, we cover topics of love, loss, culture, history, family, language, etc.
PWH: What message do you hope readers gain from your work?
THEM: Our central message is that they in and of themselves are enough. They do not need to be taller, smaller, smarter, added-in hair, breast augmentation, extreme dieting, lighter, darker, and anything else. The way God made all of us in his divine image and likeness is enough.
PWH: As sisters, what was the writing process like?
THEM: We enhance each other in every conceivable way. We are pretty amazing independently but a force of nature uniting our work as we did in this book.
PWH: What challenges did you all overcome?
THEM: Death is something we’re both trying to navigate and understand. We are surviving life one day at a time. Life is challenging but thank God we’re still here and thankfully part of it.
PWH: Where can readers find your book?
THEM: It is available online at Amazon and Walmart. They can also purchase it directly from us on our website. SistersRocNRhyme.com
PWH: Any upcoming projects?
THEM: We both are working on independent projects. I am doing a 2nd Poetry Book called Reflections & a self-help book The Summer of My Unfamiliar. This teaches people how to move beyond hurt and pain. Lyris is doing a fictional work If These Walls Could Talk.