Titus brings a wealth of knowledge on the fine art of gathering anecdotes and stories, having authored five successful books that showcase the colorful and unique Bayou Teche area of Louisiana.
“This program presents a rare opportunity to observe and learn from a creative master the interviewing methods that Mariana Titus has honed when assembling stories for her published works,” said Judith Allain, chairman of Techeland Arts Council. “We are extremely proud that she has agreed to be a part of our initiative in preserving a piece of our valuable heritage.”
The July 26 program, to be held at the Baldwin library, is part of a continuing effort by the Techeland Arts Council to document and archive the oral history and folklore of the people of the Bayou Teche area in St. Mary Parish.
This event, which will begin at 6 p.m. and last until 7:30 p.m., features light refreshments and is free and open to the public. Those wishing to become a part of the TAC team coordinating local oral history interviews are heartily encouraged to attend and sign-up sheets and information will be available throughout the evening.
According to her website, www.bayoutales.com, Mariana has a very relaxed disarming style in gathering material for her books. In conversations with folks, she says, “I’ve never experienced any real objections in these interchanges. I want only positive things in my books.” Mariana prefers stories that give the “...gift of a valuable lesson. Old folks are good with these, but sometimes just a simple exchange between old friends makes a great story.”
Copies of her latest publication, ‘Sunday Mornings, Crowning Glories,’ can be ordered from her website. This most recent work offers readers a glimpse into some of the houses of worship dotting the banks of southwestern Louisiana around Franklin and depicts the devotion and influence of traditional African-American individuals and families within their most cherished rural churches.
Her earlier books, ‘Rain, Cane, Bayou Refrain’, ‘Hurricanes, Healings and Dancing Ceilings’, ‘Summers Full of Porch Bull’, and ‘Graveyards and Bayou Bars’ showcase Titus’ unique perspectives on a variety of subjects ranging from life to death in the southern Bayou state. Through her photographic lens and her colorful text, she reflects on her subject’s views of such time-honored traditions as planting and harvesting of sugar cane or peeling crawfish and drinking beer, all the while eloquently touching on such universal themes as family belonging, generosity, loss and loyalty.
Titus is well known for her ability to transcend cultural barriers and her work emphasizes the openness and appreciation for all aspects of life along Bayou Teche that she holds so dear.
Call (337) 923-7547 for more information on this evening program hosted by Techeland Arts Council. Their website at www.techelandartscouncil.org offers more information on the ongoing folklore oral history project and also on “No Hitchin’,” the premiere stage performance of some of their selected stories, slated for Oct. 14, 15 and 16 at the Teche Theatre of the Performing Arts.