How Long Will I Cry: Voices of Youth Violence, Big Shoulders Books, 2014.

A highlight of my time in DePaul University’s Master of Arts in Writing & Publishing program was my involvement in How Long Will I Cry? During the Winter 2012 academic quarter, I took Miles Harvey’s The Art of the Interview class where we explored the oral  history genre as well as worked in the trenches.

How Long Will I Cry? is a collection of narratives from people affected by youth violence in Chicago. I had the opportunity to interview Ernie Purnell, a trauma unit nurse at Chicago’s John H. Stroger (Cook County ) Hospital. There were many interviews conducted between Miles and three different sections of the course over two quarters, and only a fraction could be selected for the Steppenwolf Theatre production and the book.

The narrative I crafted from my interviews with Ernie, What’s One Bullet? appears in both. The book is available for free from Big Shoulders Books, a new publisher based at DePaul whose goal is “to disseminate, free of charge, quality anthologies of writing by and about Chicagoans whose voices might not otherwise be shared.”

You can also read What’s One Bullet? online at

The narrative was also reprinted in the February 2014 issue of In These Times.

Check out the book trailer by Borja Cabada with music by Steve Skinner:

How Long Will I Cry? Play Poster

Check out this Fox Chicago report on the play:

How Long Will I Cry? On Fox Chicago, 3-19-13


Check out the interview with my professor, Miles Harvey, on the  All Write Already! podcast (6-26-14). He reads a selection from the book and discusses the behind the scenes work. Very cool!

All Write Already – Episode 40 – Miles Harvey