‘Bard of the South’ is on the way

HARLINGEN — It’s the witching hour.


Rickey Pittman says this is a perfect theme for his latest book, “Under the Witch’s Mark,” considering the approach of Halloween and Day of the Dead.

“The storyline is about a young man who begins dating a girl and she becomes a witch,” said Pittman, 64, who will give a presentation tonight at Beyond Arts Gallery.

Pittman, known as the “Bard of the South,” is an award-winning author, folksinger and storyteller. He’s performed school programs throughout the Valley in which he combines music with storytelling. Other venues have included festivals, libraries and organizations such as Rotary clubs.

Much of his work, including “Under the Witch’s Mark,” is set in the Valley.

“I love the Rio Grande Valley,” he said. “It has such a great history and so many unknown facts about it, about the people that have come through and died in it and all of those stories.”

Pittman said even Valleyites have forgotten much of this history. These are the stories he wishes to tell — the ones so many have forgotten. He looks forward to talking not only about “Witch’s Mark” but also “Under the Comanche Moon” and “Red River Fever.”

All three books are published by Sarah Book Publishing, which is sponsoring his appearance at the Gallery at 114 N. A St.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to do some readings and meet some people and talk to them about the writing process and of course my books,” he said.

He’s been writing his entire life but didn’t publish his work until 2007.

“It’s a delight because if it’s not published no one will ever read it, other than me,” he said. “My first book was a Civil War book. I knew about the Civil War market.”

Since then, he’s published 12 books.

Roger Young, executive director of Sarah Book Publishing, said Pittman has a unique style.

“He’s an excellent storyteller,” Young said. “He writes very well. He’s entertaining.”