Nature And Place Poetry Competition 2020

The Rialto working in association with the RSPB, BirdLife International and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative

Poems are invited that deal with any aspect of nature and place – these terms will be given a wide interpretation by the judge.
Closing Date May 1st 2020.


1st prize – £1000
2nd prize – £500
3rd prize – £250

Additional prizes

A personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wildlife places in East Anglia.

MARK COCKER is one of Britain’s most celebrated writers on nature. His most recent book, Our Place, is essential reading for all environmentalists. He is also author of Birds and People, the award winning Crow Country, and of Birds Britannica. He writes and broadcasts regularly in national media and his column in The Guardian has run for more than 30 years.*
*The prize does not include the cost of travel or accommodation.


Pascale Petit

Pascale Petit’s seventh collection, Mama Amazonica (Bloodaxe, 2017), won the Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize 2018 – the first time a poetry book won this prize for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry best evoking the spirit of a place. It was also shortlisted for the Roehampton Prize and was a Poetry Book Society Choice. Her eighth collection, Tiger Girl, due from Bloodaxe in 2020, won a Royal Society of Literature ‘Literature Matters’ Award while in progress. Four of her earlier collections were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Petit is a recipient of a Cholmondeley Award and in 2018 was elected as an RSL Fellow.

Competition Rules

  • Closing date of the Competition is midnight on May 1 2020.
  • The Competition is open to anyone over the age of 18, other than Rialto team members and staff of the RSPB, CCI and UK staff of BirdLife International.
  • Poems must have a title and must be no more than 40 lines, excluding the title, and be typed in black ink on one side of A4.
  • Poems must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been published, self-published or published on online or broadcast. Poems are judged anonymously so the poet’s name address etc., MUST NOT appear on the poem.
  • Poems must be written in English.
  • No corrections can be made to poems entered, nor can fees be refunded.
  • Entries cannot be returned.
  • If you require confirmation that your postal entry has arrived please enclose a stamped self-addressed postcard marked ‘Acknowledgement’.
  • Copyright of each poem remains with the poet, but by entering the competition you give the organisers the right to publish the winning poems both online and in printed media.
  • The judge’s decision is final and neither she nor the organisers will enter into any correspondence.
  • Prizewinners will be notified in early August, and lists of the prizewinners and the long-listed contestants will be published on The Rialto website.
  • The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judge without notice and not to award prizes if in the judge’s opinion such an action is justified.

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