Wayne Holloway-Smith Interviews

Wayne Holloway-Smith Interviews


Wayne Holloway-Smith's first full-length collection Alarum was published by Bloodaxe in March 2017.  It was shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017 and for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Full Collection, and was a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice for Winter 2017.  ‘Short’, the final poem in Alarum, won the the Poetry Society’s 2016 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for the best poem in The Poetry Review during 2016.

His next collection Love Minus Love will be published in 2020 (now re-scheduled for publication in September 2020).

Wayne won the National Poetry Competition 2018 for his new poem 'The posh mums are boxing in the square'. Read the winning poem here.  He read the winning poem on BBC Radio London's Robert Elms show.  Click here to listen (availble as a separate 14-minute clip). Wayne made three further appearances on the Robert Elms show on 18 May, 5 October 2019 and 15 February 2020, and has been made ‘Poet in Residence’ for the show. 

An interview with Wayne went online at The Ink Pantry on 8 April 2020.  He spoke to Claire Faulkner about his forthcoming Bloodaxe collection Love Minus Love, and about the amazing response to his offer to read poems sent to him via Twitter during lockdown.  Read the interview here.



Robert Elms, BBC Radio London, Saturday 15 February 2020, 10am-1pm

Wayne Holloway-Smith was interviewed for a fourth time on the Robert Elms show on 15 February.  He is ‘Poet in Residence’ for the show.

Wayne was on the show to talk about Valentine’s Day, love poetry, writing, spectacles and much else besides.  Wayne read a new love poem that has given the title to his next book, but is not included in it: ‘Love Minus Love’.  Wayne’s second collection Love Minus Love will be published by Bloodaxe in 2020.

The full 22-minute interview is no longer available to listen to online, but a clip of Wayne reading the poem, illustrated with a photo of him in ‘spectacular’ new spectacles, remains  available to listen to.


Power Lines: Class, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 8 December 2019, 4.30pm (repeats Saturday 14 December, 11.30pm)

Wayne Holloway-Smith contributed to a Radio 4 feature which aired on 8 December 2019. He was interviewed together with his friend Anthony Anaxagorou – they were asked to talk about how class is relevant to their writing. They also spoke about their poetic collaborations, which involve them giving each other lines to prompt a poem.  Wayne read his new poem ‘Yellow-tiled Kitchen’.  Featuring poets from Anthony’s ‘working class poetics’ group at The Poetry School along with other poets.

‘Poet, playwright and performer Sabrina Mahfouz looks at working class poetics, talking to poets across the UK about their work and how performing poetry shows has been an avenue into theatre and page poetry for many who would have otherwise been excluded due to class.’

Click here for details (no longer available to listen to).

The Echo Chamber: Live at the Contains Strong Language Festival, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 7 October 2018, 4.30pm (repeated Saturday 13 October, 11.30pm)

Wayne Holloway-Smith took part in special live edition of The Echo Chamber that was recorded in front of a theatre audience at the BBC Contains Strong Language Festival in Hull on 30 September 2018.  All four interviewed poets spoke about how they came to poetry.

‘Jacob Polley, Caroline Bird, Wayne Holloway-Smith and Mary Jean Chan join Paul Farley on stage for a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s contemporary poetry series The Echo Chamber.’

The full programme is no longer available, but a separate clip is still available to listen to via BBC Sounds. It features Wayne Holloway-Smith speaking about what he thought about poets & poetry when growing up: "I don't think I really knew that poets existed."   Click here to listen.


'A vital book about working class identity' - Andrew McMillan on Alarum, his Winter Guest Selection for the Winter 2017 PBS Bulletin

'This book is funny, clever, serious, touching, and extraordinarily imaginative.' – Mark Waldron on Wayne Holloway-Smith's Alarum.

'enviably good.. hilarious and witty, it’s also terrifically sad, but wears its tragedy so lightly at first it’s hard to notice. - John Challis writing about Alarum for The Poetry School

Click here to read the full review


Interviews with Wayne Holloway-Smith

An interview with Wayne is in Honest Ulsterman magazine here.

Click here to read an interview with Wayne Holloway-Smith on Poetry Spotlight.

Wayne Holloway-Smith will be reading at the Swindon Poetry Festival on 7 October 2018.  See details here.

[18 February 2020]

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