Tickling the Dragon launch events

Tickling the Dragon
Jocelyn Simms
£8.99 including p&p

The Dragon launched itself into the poetry world on July 16th at the Heritage Centre, Teignmouth, Devon, courtesy of Sheila Aldous who, with her husband Edward, organised the event. Sheila and Jocelyn Simms each read, and Edward assisted Jocelyn and Gordon Simms in dramatised presentations from Tickling the Dragon (Circaidy Gregory, 2019). Lively discussion followed and the afternoon concluded with a workshop led by Gordon.
At the Segora presentation weekend Tickling the Dragon was presented by Jocelyn with ‘a little help from her friends’. We decided the sequence of poems in Tickling the Dragon (Poetry, historical notes and photos of the birth of the nuclear age) encompass such a mix of responses from the witnesses, survivors, victims and perpetrators concerned that a variety of readers enhances the presentation. As luck had it one of the poets in attendance, American Tim Waller, gave an unforgettable portrayal of the Statue of Liberty, as an islander begs for recognition of the effects of radiation on the Marshallese people (The Girl from Ailuk addresses the Statue of Liberty). Richard Smith and Edward Aldous ably assisted Gordon Simms with the Diana Mosaic, the story of the ship commanded to sail through a radioactive cloud. Gordon became Spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence as the Supreme Court of Justice gave their verdict on the claims of the veterans of the atomic testing in 2012. Jocelyn read the moving eye-witness account of the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in Les Fleurs d’Azur. A spirited Q and A session developed with many in the audience shocked at the events revealed and the time lapse of over 50 years before the case for compensation was heard.

October 6th saw Jocelyn Simms as guest poet at the Dugdale Theatre courtesy of Enfield poets through the kind offices of Valerie Darville and Anthony Fisher. Jocelyn shared the evening with Ruth Hanchett, who won the Segora poetry competition in 2016. The winner of the 2019 Segora short story competition, Ben Lawrence, joined Tim Waller, Gordon and Jocelyn in rehearsed readings from Tickling the Dragon. Feedback received intimated that both poetry and performance were ‘terrific.’

October 16th saw the Simms in Brantome as guests of Brenda Henderson (Maison des Couleurs) and the Brantome writers’ group in a delightful venue: BookStop. The proprietor, Howard McGann, has created a stunning bookshop where coffee is served and art exhibitions are on display. A beautiful garden bordering the river may be also be enjoyed. We were invited to talk about the Bilingual literary festivals we have put on and to present Tickling. Readings were augmented by group members Derrick and Mike and once again the poems and the performance provoked an energetic response. Jocelyn was asked about the title and explained that it concerns a series of tests conducted at Los Alamos, New Mexico, which scientist Richard Freyman described as highly dangerous and were ‘like tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon.’

I hope there will be many more opportunities to introduce this book to audiences, including young people, as the debate concerning the environmental damage sustained by the detonation of these bombs and the duplicitous actions of governments in experimenting on unprotected personnel is most relevant for our times.
Please contact Jocelyn if you have suggestions for a venue for readings and workshops on these topics. Have Dragon, will travel!

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All proceeds go to MSF