California poet opens spring Frostic Series

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News


KALAMAZOO--An accomplished California poet, short story writer and novelist will lead off the spring Frostic Reading Series this week at Western Michigan University, while several other noted wordsmiths, including WMU alumna Bonnie Jo Campbell, are on deck.

The series begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in Room 157-158 of the Bernhard Center with a reading by T. Geronimo Johnson. Born in New Orleans, Johnson received his master of fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and his master of arts in language, literacy and culture from the University of California, 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, U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University. He is also a curriculum designer for Bay Area non-profits and director of the U.C. Berkeley Summer Creative Writing Program. His fiction and poetry have appeared in "Best New American Voices," "Indiana Review," "The LA Review" and "Illuminations," among others.

Johnson's background in and outside literature is a varied one. He has worked on, at or in brokerages, kitchens, construction sites, phone rooms, education non-profits, writing centers, summer camps, ladies shoe stores, nightclubs, law firms, offset print shops and San Quentin. He is a Niroga-certified yoga instructor and trained rally driver. "Hold it 'til it Hurts," his first novel, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press.

Other 2012 Frostic Reading Series events

  • Thursday, Feb. 2: Kevin Fenton and Rachel Eliza Griffiths, 8 p.m., Room 157-158 Bernhard Center.
  • Friday, March 23: Bonnie Jo Campbell, 8 p.m., Room 105-107 Bernhard Center.
  • Wednesday and Thursday, March 28-29: Jen Bervin, 4 p.m. lecture (March 28) Meader Rare Book Room, Waldo Library; 7 p.m. reading (March 29) Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.
  • Thursday, April 5: Barbara Cully, 8 p.m., Room 157-158 Bernhard Center.
  • Thursday, April 19: Sean Clark, 8 p.m., Room 157-158 Bernhard Center.