Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson — Poet, Therapist & Public Speaker
Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson is best known for a variety of award-winning titles, including her poetry collection, "Please Use This For Children and Not for War and Guns" (Blooming Twig, 2010), children’s books "Ballad of the Rag Man" (Blooming Twig, 2009) and "Bully! The Big Book for Bullies and the Bullied" (Blooming Twig, 2012), and her bestselling series of poetry therapy workbooks In-Versing Your Life (1ed Families International, 1995 / 2ed Blooming Twig, 2006). She’s contributed a chapter on the use of poetry in therapy for the textbook "Expressive Therapies for Sexual Issues" (Springer Press, 2012), and she’s an esteemed essayist who has written articles for numerous journals. Outside of her acclaimed writing career, she is a social worker and therapist with over 30 years experience; a public policy advocator whose work includes service on the boards of the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the Mental Health Association, the Sierra Club, and numerous church and school committees. Cynthia also currently serves on the editorial board of the acclaimed Nimrod International Journal in Tulsa. It’s a full life made all the more meaningful by strong family bonds with her husband of 40 years and her two grown children.
Cynthia’s love of poetry started in second grade when her teacher would read poems to her class after lunch to calm the children down. “I would memorize the poems my teacher read, and then come home and spout them off to friends and family,” Cynthia recalls. Another contributing factor to her fascination with poetry was the rhythm of the language. Cynthia grew up surrounded by music — she sang before she read, and her father was a jazz musician — the rhyme scheme and cadences in poetry appealed to familiar sensory surroundings.