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In The Rialto

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REPORT FROM THE JUDGE, WILL HARRIS I feel uncomfortable with the idea of “judging” because it can suggest some kind of special objectivity and wisdom on the part of the judge. And my only qualification for this role is that I love poems, subjectively and with very...

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Pamphlet competition shortlist announced

Pamphlet competition shortlist announced

We are very pleased to announce that the Shortlisted Titles for the 2020 Rialto Pamphlet Competition are, in no particular order, For The Apocalypse Team, Trombone, Hello, Before After, Queerfella, Fridges, Shit Happens, The Sushi Chef’s Wife, The Presence of Absence,...

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Had he lived William Wordsworth would have been 250 years old this April (April 7th.,). Celebrations were planned, particularly in Grasmere, Cumbria, home of the excellent Wordsworth Trust. I’m thinking that actual celebrations will not now take place, so here is a...

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The Rialto Newsletter, February 2020

The Rialto Newsletter, February 2020

93 The Rialto No.93 is out in the world. Storm Ciara is bustling about making working in the garden unattractive, so here I am sat down to celebrate the new issue. It is actually just a rather wet and windy day here but the weather forecasters seem to have been...

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Rialto news – November/December 2019

Rialto news – November/December 2019

Dodo Provocateur Anita Pati’s prize winner pamphlet, which we published in the first week in September, had it’s London launch on September 24th at The Poet an aptly chosen pub in Baring Street (N1 3DS). I put the post code in because I must have been one of the last...

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Summer 2019

Summer 2019

‘I think this is a really good time for poetry. If anybody ever thought poetry was a luxury, that’s gone. Poetry is a necessary remedy to a lot of the darkness we are subject to.’ Tracy K Smith, USA Poet Laureate, The Observer 30.06.19 The Rialto No. 92 is now out in...

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About the rialto


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 working with Rishi Dastidar, Edward Doegar, Will Harris and Degna Stone, who are graduates of 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. We also run a poetry pamphlet competition which has become a fixture of how we discover new work. Oh, and we  haven’t forgotten about first collections – we launched Dean Parkin’s The Swan Machine at last autumn’s Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, and published Matt Howard’s award winning Gall in 2018.

Laura Scott’s pamphlet What I Saw won the Michael Marks Award in 2014, and several of our first collections are 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




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Rialto poetry, blogs and news


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.

Sanctuary     by Kate White

Sanctuary by Kate White

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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An undesirable garden  by Janet Rogerson

An undesirable garden by Janet Rogerson

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  by Emily Wills

The Seagull now eating my sandwich by Emily Wills

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   by Dean Parkin

Quiet road home by Dean Parkin

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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