is the author of Where a Nickel Costs a Dime
and Smoking Lovely
, which received a PEN Open Book Award
. He has also been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bomb, Poems of New York and The Harlem Reader. His first children's book, Visiting Langston
, received a Coretta Scott King Honor and his follow-up, Clemente!
was recently named a Booklist Top 10 Sports Book for Youth in 2010 and 2011 Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Woolrich Fellow in Creative Writing at Columbia University and is a three-time Fellow in Poetry and Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts
. He has been on the faculty of the VONA Writing Workshops, National Endowment for Humanities Summer Seminar
and currently teaches at Fordham University
. He is founder/publisher of Cypher Books
"Langston Hughes has been reincarnated and lives in Spanish Harlem. His name is Willie Perdomo. Where a Nickel Costs a Dime
is a priceless, precious package of poetry."
, author of Manchild in the Promised Land
"As you will see, Willie Perdomo is a new and important voice, a Djali (Griot), and here he is right on the gig. Like they say, Djeli Djeli Djeli Ya (gettin down) and rising up!"
, author of Blues People
"In the words of Muhammad Ali Willie Perdomo's poems 'float like butterflies, sting like bees.' They have grace and power and don't waste their time, but zoom down the subway tracks to the true heart of New York City, Harlem, which is brown and black, and talks back in its dialect of drugs, death and destiny."
, author of Vice: New & Selected Poems
"Whether we're talking Puerto Rico or the US, the Poetry Society of America or the corner of 123rd Street and Lexington Avenue, there is no poet alive who can match the lyrical intelligence, ferocious wit and searching humanity of Willie Perdomo. Perdomo is the hurricane we all write home about. He is to the word what lightning is to the sky. He is Langston and Hector (Lavoe) and Whitman and Mír. He is the heart in struggle with itself. Perdomo writes damnation as though it were heaven and breaks the ordinary -- a mother calling her children home, a weed-trip to Brixton, heartbreak -- into gold. He's the Puerto Rican diaspora's unofficial poet laureate and what he knows about being of color, being between languages, being poor, being a man, being in trouble, could save your life."
author THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO
, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
, Willie Perdomo's second volume of poetry, confirms his hard won place in American letters. Addiction, poverty, class and racial identity, love and recovery are examined with a devastating and streetwise voice, marked with irrefutable artistic integrity and craftsmanship. These poems sing, howl, and heal with a sad and searing wisdom akin to genius. Smoking Lovely
is destined to become not just one of the best books of the year but of the decade."
author of Push
and Black Wings &
Perdomo is a necessary and insistent voice in the current American literary scene.
sings to both the eyes and ears, placing oral and visual patterns in dramatic tension with one another..And the pleasure offered by this vibrant collection is precisely the pleasure of watching and hearing the polyphonic performance in vibrant poetic terms. "
American Book Review