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Forthcoming: Available February 1, 2020

In the middle of the bucolic landscape of south-central Oklahoma is an immense reservoir—the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifier. Its deepest portions contain water that is thousands of years old, and it feeds the area’s many streams, springs, and lakes. One of these streams is Pennington Creek, located in Johnston County and discernible only by the small bridge over which State Highway 7 passes and the strip of trees bordering the stream.

In this collection of essays, author, naturalist, and angler John Gifford passes through both place and time to recall a lifetime of memories, mishaps, and lessons learned in, around, and beyond the clear waters and mineral springs of this unassuming and otherwise nondescript haven. His reflections, both rooted in this creek and transcending them, suggest the inextricable link between the natural world we all share and the resilience of the human spirit. 

John Gifford is the author of several books, including Red Dirt Country, Pecan America, Wish You Were Here, and The Sharks of Al Jubail (also published by Bowen Press). His work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Arkansas Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Southwest Review, The Atlantic, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and elsewhere. He lives in Oklahoma.