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Born in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Ford studied at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario and at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He is a Canadian foreign service officer who lives in Ottawa and abroad.
His poetry and short fiction have been published in Grey Borders, Papertiger, qwerty, Carousel, Prairie Fire, stonestone, Veritas, and sub-Terrain. His first novel, Bonk on the Head (2005), was published by Nightwood Editions. John-James Ford won the 2006 Ottawa Book Award in the English fiction category (tied with The Sundog Season by John Geddes).