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.

Poetry in the rialto


[See end of post for image credit] To David Foster Wallace Since I was old enough to know myself I’ve been trying to figure it out – the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing, like half the time I’d chuck it all in; throw the whole lot for...

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Dragged Under

DRAGGED UNDER So many wet shaves in a lifetime. How many thousands and thousands?  So many .............rituals at dawn’s bleached-bone altar, a falter of sharpened steel on skin. So much water               feel it slide .............through your fingers. So many...

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A WITNESS I've been watching the letterbox, I've been watching her at the letterbox. Her arm is stuck in the rectangle, but not stuck getting out she can't seem to get it any farther in. A gloss-eyed pot fox peers through the doily curtain with me, the net glued by...

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FIGHT SONG August 2014 A crisis on a monitor, and there’s this football field, white chalk formalizing grass, a spongy black track where I walk off my no-baby weight. A deadline has passed, so a journalist will leave this world violently as I go around an oval dumbly,...

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Tristia My friend, we’ve been anchored here for years arguing the toss: semi-colon versus the long dash, our views on Ovid’s Tristia though I haven’t read it, nor have you - and as the room rocks gently underneath us you pour for me a rare tea known as Lost Malawi. We...

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The Booze

THE BOOZE   by now, the booze is you, you are the booze, mid-rant you stand up too fast, keel over, turn your ankle and I'm supposed to help you up. Oh! the heat and stench of you cursing the world, cursing me, you burst into tears, blurt, 'I'm hurt', that is:...

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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

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

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

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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Rialto Blogs

Nature and Place

We have had a few anxious emails asking what exactly we are looking for in entries for this competition, (apart, of course, from poems that reach out and intoxicate the reader). I'm going to try to answer this, but unfortunately, for those of you who like clear and...

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Kate Wakeling on Writing

It’s taken me ages to find my way with writing, to feel that I was allowed, internally, to get on with it. From there, it’s been a brilliant and slightly terrifying experience to put a first pamphlet together, and I’ve maybe not yet quite caught up with the idea of it...

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A challenge and response

In your editorial to Rialto 84 you challenged your readers to challenge you and Fiona. Taking you at your word, here’s my challenge.

Your Editorial vaunts the magazine’s eclecticism. What struck me however was not the wide ranging diversity of the poems in this issue…

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Poetry champs

I’ve just had the slightly daunting task of trying to find all The Rialto covers from the last 25 years, scattered as they are to the four winds, or

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Launch Party 1984

Launch Party

Originally uploaded by Rialto Poetry Magazine

Michael M has procured a few photos from way back in the mid 1980s, when The Rialto first thrust its shoots

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Helena Nelson

It began when Helena’s pamphlet collection, Mr and Mrs Philpott on Holiday at Aucherawe & Other Poems, was published by Kettillonia Press ( in 2001.

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