Love Minus Love
Wayne Holloway-Smith’s second collection Love Minus Love is an internal universe, fragmented and glued back together with uncanny logic. A strange layering of time, in which multiple things happen at once, in a looping track of intrusive thoughts – shot through with dead cows, pop songs, dead dads, the white noise of televisions – rotten teeth are raining everywhere. Somewhere at the core of all this, the seemingly fixed boundaries of masculinity, family, trauma and mental health are blurred towards a new type of vinegary identity, in a pitch of emotional intensity that punches you right in the gut.
Wayne Holloway-Smith’s debut collection Alarum was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize and the Roehampton Poetry Prize as well as being a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice. His poem ‘the posh mums are dancing in the square’ – included in Love Minus Love – won first prize in the Poetry Society’s 2018 National Poetry Competition. Love Minus Love is shortlisted for the 2020 T.S. Eliot Prize and is also a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice.
I rejoice in Wayne Holloway-Smith's poems, and I miss them when I'm not reading them. Love Minus Love is a gorgeous painful classic of the Dead Dad genre, and the We Are All Meat genre and the Re-Building Mum genre. It is a beautiful tapestry-album of boy agony, wit and honesty, punctuated by devastating in-parentheses-bildungsromans. It's unforgettably brilliant. -- Max Porter Exciting, excoriating, gorgeous, appalling, and eye-wateringly honest. Wayne Holloway-Smith's poems are blisteringly beautiful, and probe at a siege-like nucleus of familial harm. Histories of abuse, hurt and disease are confronted and dissected in all their messy, meaty complexity, but always with love, always with hope and a sweet, sweet tenderness. One of the truest poets writing today. -- Fiona Benson
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