Wayne Holloway-Smith Interviews & Reviews
'…it’s so intimate and direct: the story of growing up with a single mother, abuse, poverty and bereavement, told with wit and kindness and love...it’s hard, these distracted days, to find something so focused and intent, such an entirely immersive read.' - Kate Clanchy, New Statesman
Wayne Holloway-Smith’s second collection Love Minus Love, published by Bloodaxe on 3 September 2020, includes his National Poetry Competition-winning poem ‘the posh mums are boxing in the square’. His new book-length sequence of poems looking at masculinity, family, trauma and mental health is a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice for Summer 2020.
His debut collection Alarum was also a PBS Wild Card Choice, as well as being shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017 and for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Full Collection. ‘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.
Wayne won the National Poetry Competition 2018 for his poem 'The posh mums are boxing in the square'. Read the winning poem here.
'…it’s so intimate and direct: the story of growing up with a single mother, abuse, poverty and bereavement, told with wit and kindness and love....it’s hard, these distracted days, to find something so focused and intent, such an entirely immersive read.' - Kate Clanchy, New Statesman, recommending Love Minus Love in her diary piece. Read it here.
‘Love Minus Love is perhaps best understood as a collective, albeit fragmented, verbalisation of this tormented poet’s psyche, with many of its poems reading as snippets overheard from a story already-in-the telling… A heartfelt putting of pen to paper, it is best defined by a single, summative word: bravery. – Daniel Baksi, The Arts Desk
'The Wiltshire-born poet’s primary concerns – masculinity, abuse, disease – are threaded with wit and a disinterest in sentimentality. He is as playful with form as he is honest with language: in one poem, “the pain of childhood” is literally crossed out on the page, its letters welded together, no spaces between the words. But look closely and you’ll find the grief, hidden in plain sight.' - NS Recommends
WAYNE HOLLOWAY-SMITH ON BBC RADIO LONDON
Robert Elms, BBC Radio London, Saturday 5 September 2020, 10am-1pm
Wayne Holloway-Smith was interviewed for a fifth time on the Robert Elms show on 5 September. Wayne is ‘Poet in Residence’ for the show. He was talking to Robert about his new book Love Minus Love. Wayne read his poem which begins ‘in the morning all of her pain’ (p50).
‘I just find poetry fascinating and intriguing and challenging and sometimes inspiring… I certainly think it more than has its place – it’s sort of one of the essentials of the human condition. And I really like Wayne’s poetry, so check it out.’ – Robert Elms, following his interview with Wayne Holloway-Smith
Listen here. Intro (5:33) & from 35:30.
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.
Wayne read his National Poetry Competition-winning poem on BBC Radio London's Robert Elms show in March 2019. Click here to listen (available as a separate 14-minute clip). Wayne has made four further appearances on the Robert Elms show on 18 May, 5 October 2019, 15 February 2020 and now 5 September 2020, and has been made ‘Poet in Residence’ for the show.
ONLINE INTERVIEW WITH WAYNE HOLLOWAY-SMITH
An interview with Wayne went online at The Ink Pantry on 8 April 2020. He spoke to Claire Faulkner about his 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.
Wayne Holloway-Smith: Love Minus Love launch reading
Wayne Holloway-Smith launched his new collection Love Minus Love in a Bloodaxe online launch reading shared with Pascale Petit and Phoebe Stuckes on 8 September 2020. This video is an excerpt from that event which went out on YouTube Live.
Reviews & interviews in connection with Alarum
The Echo Chamber: Live at the Contains Strong Language Festival, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 7 October 2018
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
'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
An interview with Wayne is in Honest Ulsterman magazine here.
[07 September 2020]