Cover Stories


Some stories just demand to be read.

That’s the case with my cover story, “A kid in King Jay’s court: My life with the Latin Kings,” published in early 2015:

How could a white kid from Massachusetts at a small, private college in the South end up being so close to a Latino “gang leader” with teardrop tattoos on his face, a man now serving almost three decades in federal prison? It was a lot easier than I expected, actually, and if you’ll give me the time to explain, it’s actually a pretty good story.

It’s also true for other cover pieces I’ve written, such as “Condemned: Greensboro struggles with housing code enforcement” and “Hungry for change: Ideas for tackling food insecurity.” If anything, I’m is the kind of person with too many ideas, but after 7 years working as a professional journalist, I’ve figured out how to choose the best.

That’s how I ended up picking through Maya Angelou’s personal possessions before an estate sale opened up to the public.


I wrote dozens of cover stories for YES! Weekly between 2011 and 2014. Some, like “Under surveillance,” “Twin tragedies” and “Wage theft,” are investigative. Others have a more historical focus, including one about the decline of Greensboro’s textile industry and a profile of Andrew Dudek and the underground music scene he helped shape.

Above, a sample of three covers I wrote for YES! Weekly: a stunt-style profile of the Greensboro’s new mayor (I convinced her to lace up some ice skates), a Triad beer guide, and an extensive interview with civil rights activist Jesse Jackson about cutting his teeth in the movement as a college student.