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In 2002, author, naturalist, and angler John Gifford kept a journal detailing his visits to Pennington Creek in southern Oklahoma, a spring-fed tributary of the Washita River and Lake Texoma, and one of the state’s most endearing waterways. Where East Meets West is the result of these journal entries, which detail the stream and weather conditions, local flora and fauna, and other observations Gifford noted from season to season.

The heart of the book is the collection of essays inspired by these visits. Like the creek itself, these essays are diverse and meandering, wide-ranging in spirit—from mayflies to hashbrowns, from smallmouth bass to the Delta Blues tradition, from bobcats to consumerism—and yet thematically centered on the intrinsic qualities of small-stream fly fishing in an area of the country where the deciduous forests of the East give way to the great Western prairies.

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.