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Author to celebrate birthday with release of poetry book

By Tami Althoff Published: December 9, 2006
If the answer is yes, then you need to stick close to nature, then try like some first human being to say what you see and what you experience and what you love and what you lose’ — the four categories in my book. I had this huge chill go down my spine. For me, it was really like I was talking to someone from many decades ago. I felt like that was a very spiritual moment.”

The poetry book comes on the heels of "I Survived Cancer, But Never Won the Tour de France,” Chastain’s humorous account of the highs and lows he faced during a three-year battle with cancer that ultimately cost him his right arm. Chastain also will celebrate the release of that book at Sunday’s event.

"What I wanted to do was to get the book out there to as many people as I could and hopefully connect with people like I do when I read a book that I love. Obviously not everybody is going to connect in that way with me, but there will be some,” he said.

Chastain said learning to live with one arm in a world built for two-armed people has been difficult, but there’s at least one thing he has become better at.

"My poetry has gotten better. That is, I think, a product of being slowed down and having to focus on one word at a time, or maybe a line at a time. I’m just a lot slower at writing,” he said. "I think the left side of your brain controls the right hand, and the right side controls the left side where creativity comes. Perhaps the left side of my brain is so confused trying to find out where my arm is that I’m able just to stay in that creative mode.”

The poetry reading and book launch are free. Refreshment will be served, and music will be provided by Larry Hammett.

For more information on the event, call the Performing Arts Studio at 307-9320. For more information on Chastain, go to has disabled the comments for this article.

Jim Chastain
Poetry reading and book launch
Jim Chastain will celebrate his two new books, "Like Some First Human Being” and "I Survived Cancer, But Never Won the Tour de France,” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Norman Depot, 200 S Jones Ave.

For more information, call 307-9320.


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