The mischievous and often dark world of Wayne Holloway-Smith's first collection Alarum exists in the space between the peculiar thought and its dismissal. It is a place in which commonsense is unfixed, where the imagination disrupts notions of stability. 'A single crow falling from the mind' of the poet is something awkward left at our feet, and the 'air itself' is the voice of skewered unease. The complexities of life are jolted awake throughout this fearlessly inventive debut, as loss arrives played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a movie, the risk of romance is understood as the filling in a sandwich, and anxieties are found hunkered in bushes, blooming behind the wallpaper, and in the bursting of balloons.
Wayne Holloway-Smith was born in Wiltshire and lives in London. He received his PhD in English and Creative Writing from Brunel University in 2015. His poems have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. His pocketbook, Beloved, in case you've been wondering was published by Donut Press in 2011. He co-edits the online journal Poems in Which and teaches at the University of Hertfordshire. His first book-length collection, Alarum, is due from Bloodaxe in March 2017.
I 11 The air itself 12 If I forget this, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth 14 Some Waynes 15 Everything is always sometimes broken 17 The Warning Notes 18 Doo-wop 19 No Worries 20 What Happened Was This 21 So Many Different Ways to Talk About the Same Thing 23 Worship Music 24 Self Portrait #2 25 When the itching became too great 26 I hope this will explain everything: 27 (SOME VIOLENCE) II 43 The Politics of Birds 44 The Language 45 Sarah Sarsaparilla 46 Sympathy for Toast 47 Grandfather, with Flowers 48 Tina, understand 49 Self Portrait #3 50 Poem in Which 51 If I'm Ever to Find These Trees Meaningful I Must Have You by the Thighs 53 Cake 54 Why 55 Pear Tree 56 Lucky 57 There is absolutely no way to make this real life interesting 60 He left the body as fluids 61 Alarum 62 Short 64 Notes