Willie Permodo B'12 Captures the Soundtrack of El Barrio in New Poetry Collection

Willie Perdomo B’12 captures the soundtrack of El Barrio in new poetry collection Award-winning poet Willie Perdomo B’12, who earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at LIU Brooklyn, is a craftsman of verse that is nothing short of a soundtrack of the beat of life and the people in the neighborhood of his childhood, East Harlem (also known as Spainish Harlem and El Barrio). Winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award and a Coretta Scott King honoree, Perdomo published his third book, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, in 2014. Earlier this year, the National Book Critics Circle nominated the book for its prestigious annual awards in the poetry category.

Through a series of poems that inhabit the voices of many characters in the life of Shorty Bon Bon, the book reimagines the life of Perdomo’s uncle (whom Perdomo never met), a Puerto Rican musician who played percussion on studio recordings by Latin Jazz musician Charlie Palmieri and other musicians in El Barrio in the 1960s, when Salsa music began to take off in New York City. The result is a collection of lyrical, visual, melodic, witty, sonic verses with a conga beat.

Perdomo's other works include Clemente!, Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, Postcards of El Barrio, and Smoking Lovely. The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (Penguin Press 2014) is available at book retailers now. More information is available at