Lobsters Wayne Holloway-Smith

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London Review Bookshop: New and Recommended Poetry
Selected by the National Poetry Library for its collection

Lobsters seems both to capture, and be caught up in, the peculiarly powerful and reckless energy of deep hunger. This poem is freewheeling and intoxicating.

Katharine Kilalea

About the book

In Lobsters, Wayne Holloway-Smith turns his innovative poetics towards an exhilarating new work that is part songbook, part elastic melodrama. Here his unique voice undoes and remakes a self, moving into and out of tender proximity to other humans and objects of desire. Somewhere, in between the expansive and claustrophobic, the reader is offered a new space, crammed full with the music of what life gives and withholds.

Colour photograph of the poet, Wayne Holloway-Smith. The photo os a close-up of the head and shoulders
Wayne Holloway-Smith by Robin Christian

About the author

Wayne Holloway-Smith has published two collections of poetry, Alarum (Bloodaxe 2017), a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice, and Love Minus Love (Bloodaxe 2020), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. He won the National Poetry Competition in 2018.


Lobsters is a soft-cracked, gut-level improvisation, overflowing with feeling but marked by refusal: anger or grief will not be made easily consumable. Instead, if you want to access the full harmonic depth of this poem, you will have to take part in the performance yourself, to become vulnerable to it, to risk being eaten.

Will Harris

a stunning work of poetry that shakes down language in an innovative, darkly intricate way.

Rebecca Tamás

The blurb of award-winning poet Wayne Holloway-Smith’s new work, Lobsters, describes it as ‘part songbook, part elastic melodrama’. I can’t think of a better way to sum up the form of its exploration of life and loss.

The Portobello Bookshop


New Poetry: Blackwell’s Bookshop, Manchester, May 5 2022. Tickets

Lobsters Launch Party / Makina Live: Wayne Hollway-Smith, Rebecca Tamás, Gboyega Odubanjo, Emily Harrison – Hoxton Books, January 13 2022

Out-Spoken: Wayne Holloway-Smith, Alice Hiller, Kyra, Simeon Hammond, Queen Elizabeth Hall, November 25 2021: Tickets

York Centre for Writing Poetry Series: Q&A with Wayne Holloway-Smith, November 2 2021: Tickets




Trim Size
186 x 150 mm
44 pp
Illustrations Colour
2 colour
Illustrations B&W
44 black & white
Publication Date
13 January 2022
Production Spec
Munken Lynx, full-colour offset litho, section sewn perfect binding with flapped covers
Inpress Books / Ingram Publisher Services
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