John Gifford

Oklahoma City, Okla.

John Gifford




Pecan America

Inspired by the mystique of a uniquely American tree, the pecan, Oklahoma writer John Gifford set out to explore the US pecan industry, which provides 80 percent of the world's supply of this special tree nut. What he discovered during his two-year immersion was a nut—one that’s suprisingly symbolic of America itself—that’s poised to become the next superfood and an industry that today finds itself in the most important juncture in its history.
University Press of Kansas Link to Story

Red Dirt Country

A compelling work of creative nonfiction, Red Dirt Country harkens back to America’s most beloved masterpieces of nature writing.
University of Oklahoma Press Link to Story

The Sharks of Al Jubail

The nine stories in The Sharks of Al Jubail celebrate the resilience of the human spirit and explore the value of freedom and the meaning of identity. In "What Money Won't Buy," a college dropout comes to understand the significance of his own name, and the protagonist in "Something to Hold On To" has a chance encounter with a family friend that inspires him to become the father he never had.
Bowen Press Link to Story

Wish You Were Here

The stories in Wish You Were Here are dynamic, sharply rendered observations on the human condition and the world we inhabit.
Big Table Publishing Link to Story

The Cross Timbers: The Ancient Forest at America’s Crossroads

Imagine for a moment that it is Autumn 1832. Imagine, too, that your name is Washington Irving.
American Forests Link to Story

Are Americans About to Go Nuts for Pecans?

Though often associated with high-calorie holiday desserts and delectably sweet treats, pecans have distinguished themselves as not only a tantalizingly tasty nut, but also a surprisingly healthful food. One of the few tree nuts indigenous to North America, pecans are vitamin and mineral powerhouses, providing thiamine, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc, while also containing cholesterol-lowering omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Modern Farmer Link to Story

How Millennials (Almost) Killed the Wine Cork

No one is completely sure who first came up with the idea for cork wine stoppers, though legend holds that it was the 17th-century monk Dom Pérignon. Perhaps he does deserve the credit; perhaps some other cellar master was the first to abandon convention and seal his glass wine bottles with cork stoppers over wooden plugs.
The Atlantic Link to Story


A literary essay on wildfires
Southwest Review Link to Story


John Gifford

John Gifford is an American writer and essayist. He's the author of Red Dirt Country and Pecan America, both forthcoming in 2019. His work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Southwest Review, The Saturday Evening Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Atlantic, Notre Dame Magazine, American Forests, and elsewhere.

A veteran writer, Gifford specializes in creative nonfiction. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and selected as "Notable" in The Best American Essays. He’s also a photographer whose work has appeared in magazines and journals across North America.

Gifford's background as a creative storyteller includes both editorial and corporate experience for such industries as travel & recreation, health care, human-resources outsourcing (PEO), and banking and finance. His deliverables range from B2B and B2C advertising and marketing collateral to brand journalism, case studies, corporate position statements, creative copywriting, personas, philanthropy messaging, radio advertisements, and more.

Gifford earned an MFA degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and has taught master classes on creative writing at UCO, Oklahoma City University, the University of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma City Literary Festival. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma's Department of English, where he received the Goldia Cooksey Memorial Award for creative writing.

Business inquiries to giffordj (at)