Wayne Holloway-Smith’s early writing, characterised by ‘highfaluting, stylised wearing of masks’, epitomised a need to prove himself in an arena to which he felt he didn’t belong, the trying on of different identities distracting him from the real life issues of class and mental health he was experiencing. Today, his poetic style has evolved–a hybridisation of lyricism and academic life-writing–seeking to challenge the manner in which problematic male identities are represented by mainstream literary and social narratives.
Developing these ideas, Holloway-Smith’s PhD–Representations of Working-Class Masculinity in Post-War British Literature (Brunel University, 2015)–examined the economies of socio-symbolic value in the creation of classed forms of male identity. The creative work he produced during this time achieved publication in journals and anthologies such as Poetry, Poetry London and Best British Poetry.
Holloway-Smith’s artistic endeavours include co-editing online journal Poems in Which, featuring as a reader in transatlantic Skype poetry reading Poetry Extension 2, and producing text for live performance and participation in a symposium for Small White Monkeys (Glasgow Women’s Library) due to be held in November. His debut collection of poetry Alarum was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2017.