Walking Contagions, Dale Booton, Polari Press, 2023, 14.8 x 21 cm, 28 pages, PB, ISBN: 9781914237102
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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.

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