We have now received the results of the 2023 Nature and Place Poetry Competition back from Ian McMillan and are delighted to announce that the winners are:

1st Prize of £1000 – ‘Kharkiv Zoo’ – Anastasia Taylor-Lind
2nd Prize of £500 – ‘Spoons’ – Jo Bratten
3rd Prize of £250 – ‘I wanted to show you a donkey in the field or I want to show you the donkey in a field’ – Lisa Kelly

The three prize winning poems will be published in issue 101 of The Rialto.

Ian also selected five highly commended poems:

‘What the Dragonfly Told Me’ – Rosie Hadden
‘Synecdoche’ – David Nash
‘How to Make an Elephant’ – Robert Seatter
‘The Knowledge’ – Sam Phipps
‘At Cart Gap’ – Jane Wilkinson

The link to the Long List below is not a list of all the poems submitted to the competition, it lists those poems that were still in the running right to up to the late stages of the judging. Please don’t be disheartened if your work doesn’t appear on this list! Once again, we had a huge response to the competition, receiving around 2600 poems from 1250 poets.

The quality of the writing submitted and the deep engagement with our theme is always astonishing and indeed heartening. Every poem entered makes a difference to nature and poetry.

Many thanks to Ian for his generosity in working with us and indeed to all of you who entered.

We will shortly be announcing details of an event that will feature a reading by Ian McMillan and our winners. This is planned for Monday 3rd July. Further details will be announced in due course.

Long list

Please be aware the long list is only representative of a part of the process of selection and does not include all entrants. The judging is a difficult process of elimination, from the thousands of poems received one hundred or so poems go on to the long list, a short list is then compiled and from that a list of winners and highly commended poems.

We are grateful for all submissions, the standard this year was exceptional.

Winter Plumage, 31

Aidan Tulloch

Kharkiv Zoo

Anastasia Taylor-Lind


Angela Beese


Angela Beese

Tutae Kehua (Ghost Dung)

Anna Hansell

The geese are heading home again

Anna Kibbey


Anna Milan

Adonis Blue at the Gasometer

Annie Kerr

Trinco Triptych

Bel Wallace

Prayer to the Octopus

Bel Wallace


Ben Verinder


Caleb Parkin


Carole Bromley


Caroline Smith

To Frank, Our Gallant Goldfish Dead These Thirty Years

Carolyn Oliver


Claire Cox

Astrop Healing Well – Genius Loci 

Claire Cox

Andrew the Financial Adviser going naked into the woods

Cy Forrest


Daniela Cregan

storms over Kansas 

Daniela Cregan


David Nash


David Nash

Imaginary Farmer

David Nash

The Opposite of a Cow

David Nash

slip face

Eliza O’Toole

Feral Parakeet 

Elspeth McLean

Bank Holiday

Erica Jane Morris

Howlet’s House 

Giles Goodland


Gill Connors

Night Meditation

Harry Man

Let me tell you a story

Helen Scadding

Making Tea

Iain Whiteley

Noah’s Imaginary Pett

Ioannis Kalkounos

Blackbird (or Merle in French)

Jade Brooke-Langham

The Adoration

James Caruth


Jane Clarke

Sometimes they recover

Jane Routh

At Cart Gap

Jane Wilkinson

Dinner time at Aberdaron beach

Jane Wilkinson

Salt-cured dogfish found on shingle beach

Jane Wilkinson

Zoomorphs at Quiriguá

Jeffrey Gray


Jenny Lewis


Jill Abram


Jo Bratten

On Going to See the Bears at The Wild Place Project, Bristol, and Not Seeing Them

Jonathan Edwards

The Strange Ones

Jonathan Rulton

Sometime Before Dawn, Oliver Price Swings By in His Turquoise and White Pickup

Justin Hunt

Saturday at the Canal

Kathleen Winter


Kathryn Pallant

Looking for a cure in parks and gardens  

Kathy Pimlott

Returning to Riverside

Keith Chandler

Please cut open my chest!

Kinslee Sikes


Lesley Saunders

Fuck Nature

Lianne O’Hara

The Heart Bird 

Lindsey Holland

I wanted to show you a donkey in the field or I want to show you the donkey in a field

Lisa Kelly

Smoking earth’s opium

Lucy Watt


Mark Corcoran

Smokehouse Garden

Mark Totterdell

Little Egret

Mark Wilmot


Mary Mulholland


Matthew Salyer


Matthew Salyer

In an experiment with rabbits buried at 35cm depth

Melanie Banim


Meredi Ortega

Under a Bridge

Meredi Ortega


Mick Wood

The idea is to watch the sunset

Nadine El-Enany

The Aquamarine, the Ambergris

Nichola Deane

Home Time

Nicola Healey

Deep-sea Fish

Nicola Healey

Palmyra 2010

Nigel Pantling

Silver Birches

Paul Stephenson

Elvis Worms

Peter Viggers

Vacant Plot 

Peter Wallis

The Poetry Shed

Philip Burton

The dream garden

Ramona Herdman

we saw deer

Rebecca Goss

Home Alone

Rhona Stephens

Google Street View

Richard Strickland

Where There’s a Way

Robert Maslen

How to Make an Elephant

Robert Seatter

Greenland Shark 

Rosamund Taylor

What the Dragonfly told me

Rosie Hadden

Sparrowhawk, The Tells the World He Doesn’t Work Alone

Rupert Smith

The Knowledge

Sam Phipps


Sarah Gibbons

The Afterthought

Sarah Gibbons

The Swimming Champion Is At Sea

Tania Hershman


Terry O’Brien


Tim Relf

At night, the ‘giant Irish elk’ is wandering in the National Museum of Scotland 

Wendelin Law

A Small Compass Where the Wild Birds Fly

Winifred McNulty