Wayne Holloway-Smith’s second book-length book of poetry, 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.
'Wayne Holloway-Smith's Love Minus Love is fiercely playful in its confrontation of truths that are as familiar, and familial, as they are painful... The work traces the erosion of connection between child and parent, meaning and language, body and self.' - Lavinia Greenlaw
'I've been enjoying the exceptional poetry books published this year, in particular those that opened out to me new possibilities of what poems can do - like being shaken awake! In particular, Daisy Lafarge's Life Without Air and Wayne Holloway-Smith, Love Minus Love.' - Lucy Mercer, The White Review
'Disease, trauma, wit, sex, love, addiction, looping time, family history, a changing world, work - all evaporate and condense into the best collection I've read in 2020...Shortlisted for the 2020 T.S Eliot Prize, Love Minus Love could win, should win, might win, better win... In my humble 2020 ranking, Holloway-Smith takes top slot.' - D M O'Connor, RHINO