mark walton “frostbitten”

28 Mar

Frostbitten by Mark Walton
48 pages saddle-stitched
Full color laminated cover
$10 USD

It’s with great excitement & pride to announce that Frostbitten, the first entry in the epic rites press ‘workers in blood’ chapbook series, is now available for purchase from the epic rites bookstore. The bookstore is located at

Mark Walton, winner of the 2008 London Slam! Championship, lives & performs in London, England. Frostbitten is Mark’s debut volume of poetry. Samples from Frostbitten are available at

Workers In Blood
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote “Of all that is written I love only what a man has written with his blood. Write with blood and you will discover that blood is spirit.” The epic rites workers in blood chapbook series showcases work by artists whose medium is blood.

The first entry in the series is Frostbitten by Mark Walton. Mark does not merely write with blood, he wields his pen like a scalpel – marbling away fat and dead tissue with economy and precision. Frostbitten is not merely a collection of poetry, it’s the literary equivalent of open heart surgery. A percentage of all book profits will be donated by epic rites press on behalf of Mark Walton to the Terrence Higgins Trust (, a charitable organization that helps those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Reviews of Frostbitten
With its first foray into publishing, Epic Rites Press enters the small press arena with FROSTBITTEN by Mark Walton…a title that belies the power of this fiery collection of poems. To say that this book is powerful in its
content is almost demeaning. This collection is more like a burning bag of dogshit, left on your doorstep! You want to stamp it out and get on with your day, but it gets into your soul and it lingers with you, even after you’re done with it. Eventually, you must deal with it, must work at it before you can move on. Walton’s poems are lean and honest, though they deal with hard realities. I look forward to future books by Mark Walton. And if this book is any indication of what Epic Rites can do, I say, “look out world! The small press may never be the same”. – RD
Armstrong Lummox Press

There’s an electricity and fire to Mark Walton’s Frostbitten. Sad, heroic, astonishing in its clear voiced honesty, Walton’s work alternates between post-Punk and neo-Modernism. A razor sharp edge to each line, Walton will astonish you and, ultimately, surprise you as his work draws you deep into a world most people are either unaware, or uncomfortable to visit. Mark Walton is sharp, clever and honest and his new work, Frostbitten, will be an important and interesting addition to anyone’s collection of poetry. – Jack Henry publisher/heroin love songs

Epic Rites’ first steps into the publishing world are most welcome. With Mark Walton, we are treated to a great start. Walton writes with a keen eye. These words pulse. The poems in Frostbitten radiate with an urgency that forces the reader’s eye into devouring page after page, skipping from the flushes of love through to heartache and fear. Such urgency shows in the long poem ‘New Routine’ “I have new freedoms, and new deadlines./I have both the shortest/and the longest of times” This poetry deserves your attention. – Andrew Taylor/editor erbacce press

[FROSTBITTEN] is the first in the Epic Rites series of chapbooks that is one of the more promising ventures in contemporary poetry. Mark Walton presents a tight collection of poetry that takes the reader into the gay scene in the contemporary UK and works organically as a mixture of classical articulate rhyming poetry with more modern thematic and lexical attributes. [T]he form is breathtaking, the words wound richly round each other like bodies, gay or otherwise, an articulate and well-written chapbook of which Mark Walton can be justifiably proud.
[FROSTBITTEN] is written in blood in the sense of passion and passionate engagement for the relational self and the other that makes it, but it is also remarkable for a vigorous and intricately articulate language, sensitive to each emotional and cognitive nuance of the well-chosen words. – David McLean, poet, editor (autoerotic elegies) A full review by David McLean can be found at

Mark Walton writes in his poem Plural Possessive, “We eat slivers of exquisite rarities,” and that’s exactly what these poems are themselves. Mark’s attention to detail is extraordinary. It’s obvious he’s a true poet who “sat cat- like for hours” jabbing the keys, the blood in the ten wands of his hands throbbing, longing and far, far from frostbitten. And although a majority of the subject matter is “the hard truth of a winter’s night,” Mark’s passion for human connection and for the written word widens and widens: “Give me tendrils not ribbons/Give me roots not
stems/Give me fields not vases/Damn your bouquet/Give me a hedgerow.” Mr. Walton’s outstanding craftsmanship is obvious, but it’s his emotional release that will floor you. These poems save us, heal us “as the world turns on its own spit.” And although the voice speaks of “scars” that will be “taken to the grave,” there couldn’t be a more
flawless collection of poems in our hands. – Rob Plath, poet/editor (The Exuberant Ashtray)

Mark Walton’s poems fizzle with energy and capture the modern gay experience in all its many guises. – Paul Burston, Time Out London

I found Frostbitten lucid, harrowing and compelling. It’s a cogent and passionate first collection shot through with hard-won self-knowledge.- Paul Magrs, novelist

Forthcoming Dates
Mark Walton will be appearing on the epic rites radio network March 31st where he will be reading the complete Frostbitten text. The time of his reading is 12pm mdt/11am pst/ 2pm. The link to the show is


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