Walking Contagions

Dale Booton


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Polari Press
27 March 2023
ISBN: 9781914237102
28 pages

From the publisher

Beginning with a routine sexual health check-up before delving into the depths of the 1980s, Walking Contagions explores the emerging AIDS crisis and the subsequent fear and loneliness that accompanied it. With a reflection on community and activism, these poems emphasise the stigmas around HIV/AIDS while banishing the heteronormative expectations of adulthood and sexuality: Gay men are not old at thirty; even within a community, there can still be overwhelming isolation; Grindr is not the be-all of a gay man’s life. With a defining message of education and acceptance, Walking Contagions echoes the need to continue fighting HIV stigma and reinforcing the message: “Undetectable = Untransmittable”.

Each pamphlet is Singer-sewn bound in Lapis Blue thread in a limited edition of 150.

Dale Booton is a queer poet from Birmingham. His poetry has been published in various places, including: Verve; Young Poets Network; Queerlings; The North; and Muswell Press; and forthcoming with Magma and Salò Press. Last year he hosted Young Poets Takeover at Verve Poetry Festival. Walking Contagions is his debut pamphlet. 

“In these stark and moving poems, Dale Booton looks intently at himself—in the mirror, in the eyes of others, and back over his shoulder, to his community—in fleeting moments and lingering connections, he maps out the ghosts and the memories of lovers who walk with him.” Andrew McMillan, poet