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The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon

Willie Perdomo
64 pages
Reviewed by Leslie Haídez De Jesús

TAGS:  Willie Perdomo, Penguin Books, Nuyorican Poets, Afro-Latino

Award-winning poet Willie Perdomo returns with his second collection of poetry, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon. A winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award, Perdomo was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award and has had his poems published in the New York Times Magazine. In The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, Perdomo brings spoken word, at its best, to the printed page. Willie Perdomo’s words are like colorful murals,and he draws from his roots as one of the Nuyorican Poets to paint a picture of Afro-Latino life in this, his second collection of poetry. The cadence of the poetry reads like a spoken word piece; if one is not a fan of this particular subgenre, then the book may be difficult for a reader to grasp. In fact, this reviewer wishes Perdomo had done this book as an audiobook, as he is the type of poet who should be heard aloud in order to capture the true essence of his poetry.

Perdomo’s deliberate crafting of words makes the reader feel the celebration of Latino culture and the vividness of the Latino Artist lifestyle, which most people don't get to enjoy. In one such celebration Perdomo brings to light one the largest fiestas that occurs in the Latino community: the dedication to a beloved relative, living it up and enjoying life without regrets.  The best part of this book is the fact that Perdomo opens the barrio to all, so that readers may experience and get in touch with their inner Latino soul.

To experience Perdomo, it is best to hear him speak the words he wrote. This reviewer encourages readers to watch some of his performances on the internet, which will lend a greater appreciation of this book. The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon is ideal for those who are fans of poetry, especially spoken word, and a it's great experience for those who've never had a taste of Latin soul. Hopefully, an audio version of this book--or even his next--will be coming soon.


Leslie Haídez De Jesus is from the Bronx. Her poetic style stems from her personal experiences. She doesn't like to refer to herself as an artist because her writing style works more like a random moment. "I can only write, when I feel it," she says. Look for her first poetry book, PhatGyrlzRule-Image iz Everything, which should be due this year. For more information, contactinfo@phatgyrl.com.

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