E.D.P – The Editor Development Programme
The Editor Development Programme is now live. If you want to be considered for it you’ll have to make haste as the closing date for applications is at the end of this week. We have been talking about this programme for some time, but it’s only been with the help of The Poetry School that we’ve got as far as inviting applications. They’ve undertaken to work with us in making this project happen and I’m very grateful to them for their enthusiasm and professional input.
Basically this is an opportunity to learn about the process of putting together a poetry magazine. The focus will be particularly on the questions of choice and discrimination – how do you decide whether a poem works well enough to be published? – and participants will be working closely with me in a mentoring role. The culmination for the participants (who I’m proposing to give the title of Assistant Editor) will be the opportunity to be responsible for a section of the magazine.
The two candidates selected this month will be working towards being in charge of fifteen pages of the Spring 2014 issue of the magazine.
Please, if you are a poet submitting work, be re-assured that I, as editor, will continue to read all the poems that come in.
An application pack can be downloaded from the Poetry School’s website which is here.

As Simon Armitage says,
“Editing is the quality-control mechanism though which good poetry is maintained and transmitted.  It’s an art form in its own right, and any scheme which aims to develop editorial skills, both practically and creatively, can only benefit poetry in the long term.”

Festival Reading
The Rialto/Writers Centre Norwich reading at this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival went well. The poets – Don Patterson, Sophie Hannah and Hannah Lowe – were in good spirits and gave lively performances to a very appreciative audience. We all had a good time.
However we didn’t quite fill the Playhouse Theatre. We did very well indeed for a poetry reading but we’ve got used to filling the theatre. Please if you are a local poet or poetry lover (old fashioned term, but one I personally am happy to use about myself), can you let us know why you didn’t come to the reading. I’d like to know if we chose the wrong day of the week, or if the publicity didn’t get to you in time to book, or if you thought the event overpriced, or, even, if the poets were just not quite famous enough to attract you….
Hannah Lowe’s first collection Chick, by the way, is on the shortlist for this year’s Forward First Collection prize. We still have (very few) copies of her Rialto pamphlet The Hitcher……
We are aiming for a Summer issue of the magazine in September. The editor is currently reading poems that arrived in February, so there should be plenty of quality work waiting to be read.
We are also aiming to publish a new Bridge Pamphlet in September. This will be What I Saw, by Laura Scott. I think these are important new poems: Moniza Alvi says, ‘a very valuable new voice’.
The Rialto/RSPB Nature Poetry Competition is open. You can download an entry form from the website, or simply enter online (or look out for the entry forms in your favourite poetry magazine or independent bookseller’s shop). Please enter. I did actually read all last year’s entries (how could I not?) and they were rather wonderful. There’s still a great many people connected to the life of the planet, often very lovingly. Now that the various wildlife organizations have woken up to the great losses that are going on we all need to do what we can to help save species, be they birds or ants or orchids. The competition is online here.
Michael Mackmin