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Where a Nickel Costs a Dime captures the hip-hop rhythms and in-your-face intensity of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a downtown Manhattan club where the hottest young poets are finding their fame.
Willie Perdomo's poems, in the tradition of Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, and Ntozake Shange, meet at the intersection of the street and the academy.
The world in these piercing and heartbreaking poems is Spanish Harlem, where night turns to day without sleep, where Puerto Rico stays on our minds when the fresh breeze of cafe con leche y pan con mantequilla comes through half-opened windows and under our doors, where babies fall asleep to the bark of a German shepherd, where Independence Day is celebrated everyday, where the police come into your house without knocking. They throw us off rooftops and say we slipped. They shoot my father and say he was crazy. They put a bullet in my head and say they found me that way.
Blending images of street life, drugs, and AIDS against hope and determination, Willie Perdomo is a cutting-edge bard who speaks to the soul of his generation.
Willie Perdomo was raised eight blocks away from Langston Hughes's house. Mr. Perdomo's first book, Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, was selected by the ALA as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults. Visiting Langston is his first book for children.