What are they looking for?

  Shall I let you into a secret? Despite writing poetry seriously since 2010, despite my MA in Creative Writing and despite running a poetry magazine since 2012, I often think I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes it’s true. The nagging suspicion that I’m... read more

A challenge and response

In your editorial to Rialto 84 you challenged your readers to challenge you and Fiona. Taking you at your word, here’s my challenge.

Your Editorial vaunts the magazine’s eclecticism. What struck me however was not the wide ranging diversity of the poems in this issue…

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Welcome to the website for The Rialto, where you can find out who we are and what we do, read poems from the magazine, and connect up with our social media pages. You can buy subscriptions, single copies, pamphlets and books. You can learn how to submit your poetry for possible publication, and you can read articles and blogs by the editors, poets and guest writers.

The Rialto magazine is edited by Michael Mackmin with Fiona Moore and the help of Assistant Editors drawn from our Editor Development Programme.

We’d like to say thank you to our loyal subscribers and to the Arts Council of England whose support and encouragement over years have made possible The Rialto. We invite you, reader, to join the team: help make poetry happen by subscribing now.

“The Rialto is the poetry magazine to read – publishing poems that are formally inventive and alive to the ‘here and now’ of the world, but always with a commitment to the humane and compassionate qualities I believe the best poetry has. It has led the way in nurturing new talent.”

Hannah Lowe


The founding editors, Michael among them, believed in a ‘Republic of Poetry’, an inclusive and diverse world of poetry, one that was open to experiment in form and content. We strive to keep this vision alive.

The magazine appears three times a year and each issue, with its spacious A4 pages, has fifty or so poems, an editorial and occasional, commissioned, prose pieces. Most of the space is occupied by the best new poems we can find, all wrapped up in our famously vibrant beautiful covers.

The Rialto has been called ‘Simply the best’ by Carol Ann Duffy and ‘A terrific magazine’ by Seamus Heaney.


At the start of the new millennium The Rialto published a short run of first collections. In 2005 we turned our energy to publishing pamphlets and began our Bridge Pamphlets list. These have so far been by poets who we’ve asked to submit work, but this year we intend opening out the opportunity to have a pamphlet published. Do not submit yet, but do watch the website for an announcement. Oh, and we  haven’t forgotten about first collections – we launched Dean Parkin’s The Swan Machine at last autumn’s Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.

Laura Scott’s pamphlet What I Saw won the Michael Marks Award in 2014, and three of the early first collections were winners of major awards.

“The magazine is consistently one of, if not the best spotter of emerging talent in the UK – as a writer you know that you have arrived if one of your poems goes in. It’s more than an imprimatur of quality – it’s a rite of passage.”

Rishi Dastidar


Three magazines a year delivered to your door. New subscribers receive the most recent magazine for free.





The purpose of this section of the site is to allow us to showcase or preview poems in our publications.
We hope to invite writers of the poems to respond and give their view of the work.


I admire the way this poem dances between the worlds of the medieval anchoress and the modern urban landscape ( I think this phone box is historically a bit earlier than now, sometime before we all got hold of mobile phones). I like the playful contrasts between the language of ‘epiphany’ and ‘anointed’ and that of the ‘closed off-licence’ and the lack of sex workers ‘cards’…

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Julie’s boat is in the field behind my house

his is such a rich poem – only sixteen lines but look where it takes you. Maybe I should qualify that and say look where it takes me. What the reader brings to the poem is a significant factor. Anyway I’m right in there at the start with the linen line.

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An undesirable garden

Most people are used to cement being delivered in ready-mix lorries, but it’s possible to mix your own. I spent a certain amount of time staring at cement mixers as a child, so, although one of our readers didn’t get the opening three lines, I got them entirely.

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The Seagull now eating my sandwich

I’m usually wary of poems where the title runs straight into the first line, but this works, enlarging the immediacy of the ‘NOW’, the shock of the event. There’s such a lot going on in this poem (and here’s one of the whys of my liking poetry, its ability to layer so much together in short spaces).

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Quiet road home

This is an intense poem, much bigger than it looks, very neatly bracketed by its opening, ‘We haven’t spoken for miles’ and closing ‘It’s the talking I miss’. The whole content, the ‘where exactly is this relationship at?’

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What you left out

I’ve been pre-occupied recently with the gap between my experience of poetry and what I perceive (partly through the unwillingness of readers to buy poetry) to be most people’s experience of it.

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What are they looking for?

What are they looking for?

  Shall I let you into a secret? Despite writing poetry seriously since 2010, despite my MA in Creative Writing and despite running a poetry magazine since 2012, I often think I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes it’s true. The nagging suspicion that I’m... read more
The Tempest at the Hippodrome

The Tempest at the Hippodrome

If you can get to Great Yarmouth this week please do so and go to the Hippodrome. They’ve got the most astonishing production of The Tempest that I’ve ever seen. The Hippodome is an old indoor circus space, it’s a bit like being inside a work by... read more
April 2016

April 2016

I thought that as it’s April I’d put a photo of primroses at the head of this Newsletter. So I went up to the coast to the place I thought I’d get a good picture, along the cliffs east of Cromer (yes, contrary to the famous Noel Coward quote, there... read more