Return to Bayou Lacombe

Return to Bayou Lacombe

Return to Bayou Lacombe, published by Cinnamon Press, Wales, is Jan’s first poetry collection.  It can be purchased through Jan or Cinnamon Press, among other places.

An excerpt from the collection:



It is like fire, red fire flying. It is a piece of fire that got away, a flame that rises alone and perches high in a pine tree.


It is tall, taller than a man, and follows the sun with its huge head. It has thousands of black eyes, like a fly. It grows fast and has wild yellow hair that sticks straight out.


Hides in leaves. It is like a leaf that walks and has eyes and nostrils. Sometimes it changes to a wooden color. Its throat pokes out pink like a rose petal.

Live Oak

Wise one. Muscular, dark, strong. When not cut off, its many great arms touch the ground for balance in fierce winds. After rain, it looks like a green hairy beast, ancient, beautiful, and still. Old ones grow long curly grayness that sways and sounds like a dream.


A root, broken away, preferring to be alone.


REVIEWS and BLOGS about Return to Bayou Lacombe

“I have never been to New Orleans or Louisiana but Return to Bayou Lacombe took me straight there,” says Katrina Naomi.  The entire review is found here:

According to Bill Greenwell, “This is nicely naked autobiography, with Villarrubia playfully sitching together glimpses of the figures and visions of her family, friends and locations.  Autobiographical poetry is always hard, but this looks outwards as well as inwards and enjoys re-working tiny incidents.” Read the whole review here:  If this address does not work, please google “Observational Wizardry, Intimacy and Work.”

In Envoi, Issue 152 February 09, Marcus Smith comments about “Postcards from Katrina,” her long poem about the flood in New Orleans after the federal levees were breached. Smith writes, “…the postcards illustrate the weird way the most extreme of realities ends up feeling unreal (perhaps because modern daily life is so regularized and sanitized). Villarrubia, for instance, describing how her home has been under water for three weeks, sounds surreal: ‘Nights, I calm myself / imagining my clothes floating, / chairs, pots, paintings dance, / kiss like fish…’ Her eye for detail evokes the best of the old literate broadcast journalism of, say, Alistair Cooke or the CBS News ‘On The Road’ icon Charles Kerault.”

Susan Richardson “was especially moved by New Orleans poet/playwright Jan Villarrubia, who read some very poignant post-Hurricane Katrina postcard poems…”  For more, see  (Tuesday, May 12, 2009)  And, if this address doesn’t work, please google “Susan’t Journal of Literary Things.”


One Response to “Return to Bayou Lacombe”

  1. Rock Says:

    Very impressive.
    Do I remember a ukulele?
    You have my interest.
    I’m thinking I have to be there for
    “Turning of the Bones”.
    Keep it up.

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