My wife, Dianne, and I are very happy to be a part of this exciting project established by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to recognize the best newly published African-American writers from across the country.
— Ernest J. Gaines

T.Geronimo Johnson

Born and raised in New Orleans, T. Geronimo Johnson received his M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and his M.A. in language, literacy, and culture from UC Berkeley.

He has taught writing and held fellowships—including a Stegner Fellowship and an Iowa Arts Fellowship—at Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, Western Michigan University and Stanford. His first novel, Hold It 'Til It Hurts, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. His second novel, Welcome to Braggsville, is the winner of the Gaines Book Award. The book is a literary coming-of-age novel for a new generation. Johnson is currently a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He lives in Berkeley, California.