Geronimo Tagatac, after returning from Vietnam, began to write on scraps of paper as a way to deal with the strong ideas that would come into his head. At first, his writing was without form or direction. When he moved, he would throw the scrap piles out. Then he began to write on napkins in coffee shops, stuff them in envelopes, and send his thoughts to his friends. Eventually he started to keep a journal. He finally took a writing class and within a few years, he began publishing his stories in magazines. In 1997, Tagatac was awarded the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship and in the summers of 2001 and 2003, he was invited to teach at the Fishtrap Fellowship.
As a writer, Geronimo has had a rich and varied life to draw from. Geronimo's mother was a Russian emigrant, and his father was from the Philippines. After his mother died, his father moved to Louisiana to work as a fisherman. His father remarried and eventually relocated to California where he became a farm worker. Geronimo has vivid memories of the fields and orchards, irrigation ditches, rain on the cornstalks, jackrabbits, and stars shining over the plowed fields.
For a while, he was homeless. He served as a demolitions expert in the army during the Vietnam War. He has been a ski and rock–climbing bum in Colorado. He has studied dancing and danced with a modern dance company. Geronimo studied physics in college and went on to grad school in a program of Asian studies. During that time he traveled and studied language in Taiwan. Eventually he settled in Oregon where he works for the government. Geronimo has also taught writing at the college level, and led writing workshops. He has one daughter.