Willie Perdomo



NPR Books

“Willie Perdomo’s third collection of poems is sonically charged: he celebrates his Puerto Rican heritage and the music that came out of the Puerto Rican community in New York by narrating the imagined life of Shorty Bon Bon, the percussionist of a descarga (jamming) salsa band in the 1960s and ’70s.”

Poetry Foundation

“Perdomo is a poet who recognizes that the best poems have music as their engine. In this collection, music is not only the mover of his verse, but it is also the subject. The book is part myth and part allegory about an imaginary percussionist, Shorty Bon Bon.”

Ebony Magazine

This book is all about a musician and a salsa band… or is it about the last day of a musician’s life and his final thoughts? Maybe it’s about both, but the musicality and rhythms don’t disappoint, as Perdomo beats the iambic pentameter to the sound of a ’70s descarga band.

Library Journal

“Winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award, Perdomo portrays percussionist Shorty Bon Bon in charged, edgy poems that have all the shimmer and reverberance of a dance hall, moving from his live studio recordings with a 1970s descarga band, to the smoky passion between him and a singer named Rose, and beyond.”



New Hampshire Public Radio

The City and the Writer: In New York City with Willie Perdomo

The Brown Bookshelf




Willie Perdomo reads Poet in Harlem (Text and Audio)
Willie Perdomo in Conversation with poet John Sands