The underground literary sensation, NewJack’s Guide to the Big House, is now available to the general public. Originally written in 2005, the book began as a way for a veteran (“Ol’ School”) to share wisdom with younger prisoners in his cell block. The book is about life, not prison.
“Reilly’s book is far more informative and entertaining than many books about prison. I can’t tell you how many times he had me- an ingenius insight, a creative grammatical twist, an inflection between humor and sorrow, he just continues to nail reality down page after page and he does so with delightful and refreshing authenticity. Way to go Bruce, you the baddest! I love the honesty and candor, the lack of self pity… it’s a wonderful book!”
Bruce Reilly was paroled in 2005, leaving his book behind in prison to make further copies. While making minimum wage and living on house arrest for a year, Bruce worked with a team to adapt the book to the stage, in Voice of the Voiceless. The book became part of a college syllabus, and has been sent in to hundreds of prisons around the country.
The author is the deputy director of Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE) in New Orleans, LA, a 2014 graduate of Tulane Law School, and still communicates with his comrades in prison. As they say, “He didn’t just talk about it. He is about it.” His writing has appeared in many places, including RIFuture, SF BayView, LA Progressive, AlterNet, DailyKos. He occasionally performs spoken word, and his screenplay Everybody Hurts won the RI Screenwriting Award for 2009.