Stephane Cordier exorcises cancer ghosts with poetry collection

FOUR years ago Stephane Cordier received some life-changing news - he had developed cancer. 

Treatment lasted for three months and today Mr Cordier, a teacher of English and French at the South Coast Anglican College (SCAC), no longer suffers from the disease or the side effects caused by aggressive treatment.  

However, he remarked that after surviving cancer his life has changed. 

“After you live with death every day, you are not the same after treatment,” he said. 

“It’s like you have lived and died every day.

“You stop caring about all the petty things in life. 

“You realise life is too beautiful; live it now.” 

One year after his recovery, Mr Cordier wrote a collection of poems about his experience, titled Slow Ghost Among the Quick. 

He wrote poems from the point of view of a cancer patient, as well as the people who surround them such as doctors and family members. 

He has written the poetry collection with the hope of benefitting other cancer patients, their family and their friends. 

“You can tame and live with the threat of cancer,” he said.

In his book he describes how difficult relationships can become between cancer patients and their loved ones. 

“It can be hard for the family of a cancer patient, as sometimes you don’t want love and attention. 

“Sometimes all you want is peace.” 

When asked what kept him going through his treatment, Mr Cordier used a quote by the cyclist Lance Armstrong.

“Hope is the antidote for despair,” he said.

While Mr Cordier is a native French speaker, he chose to write his poetry collection in English. 

“The French language is more fixed. 

“English is more elastic, it has more creativity and more freedom.”

Mr Cordier is an avid writer and has already released poetry collections in France, Ireland, the UK and Germany.

He is currently writing another book, which is a reflection on the medium of poetry.

Slow Ghost Among the Quick will be launched at Cliff Place in Tathra on Thursday at 5.30pm. 

Everybody is welcome.

Another presentation of the book will take place at Booktique in Merimbula on April 8 at 5.30pm.

The collection is published by Harbour Publishing House, which believes in promoting South Coast writers.

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