We can now announce our two new Assistant Editors: Edward Doegar and Degna Stone. We are delighted to have them, and they say they are thrilled and excited to be joining us. Here they are:

Edward Doegar grew up in Hull and now lives in London. His poems, reviews and translations have appeared widely in magazines including, most recently, Poetry Wales, Prac Crit and Poetry London. He is a Complete Works II fellow and six of his poems are featured in the Bloodaxe anthology Ten: The New Wave. He works at the Poetry Society.

Originally from the Midlands, Degna Stone is a poet and producer based in Gateshead. She is co-founder and Managing Editor of Butcher’s Dog poetry magazine and is currently poet-in-residence at Berwick Library (part of the Northern Poetry Library project). She received a Northern Writers’ Award in 2015 and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University.

Dragon Hall: dragon lurking among the beams

We’re not only delighted but proud to have attracted two such talented people. We’re also sad to have had to say no to so many others. As Michael Mackmin said, we could have filled a whole course. The standard of entries was astonishingly high and choosing a shortlist for interviews was painfully hard. Credit goes to our partner Writers’ Centre Norwich for helping publicise the programme. The range of skills and experience was wide, from people’s non-literary jobs to their writing, editing, organising and performing in the world of poetry and other arts – a sign of how lively and varied the poetry scene is now. Michael and I did a very enjoyable day of interviews last week. It was grey and damp outside but indoors (in a heavily-beamed room at the WCN’s medieval trading hall) we were listening to one candidate after another talking knowledgably and excitedly about the poetry they like, why they want to edit and the merits of some poems we gave them. We were especially pleased that, among all the other delights and diversions of poetry, so many people are interested in editing. And we’re grateful that the Arts Council is continuing to support the Editor Development Programme.

Degna and Edward will help choose poems for the next issue, Rialto 85, and will have their own section to edit in Rialto 86 next summer. They are joining what’s becoming an extended Rialto team – the original, one-and-only Michael Mackmin plus Abigail Parry and me (Fiona Moore) from the first EDP, and Rishi Dastidar and Holly Hopkins from the second. All of us started on an eight-month secondment and we’re all still involved in various ways.