John Gifford

Oklahoma City, Okla.

John Gifford

Writing and Photography



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, essayist, and photographer. He's the author of Red Dirt Country, a creative nonfiction title forthcoming in Summer 2019, and Pecan America, a volume of immersion reporting also 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.

As a writer, Gifford specializes in creative nonfiction. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and selected as "Notable" in The Best American Essays. His visual art centers on street and travel photography.

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)