Locl poet, writer Caryl Calsyn recognized

By Jane Knapik

Special to the Highlander

Marble Falls writer Caryl Calsyn recently was honored as the “Featured Writer” in WestWard Quarterly, the Magazine of Family Reading.The magazine is published in Hamilton, Illinois. The magazine included a biographical sketch and photograph of Calsyn, as well as six of her poems.

She and her late husband Larry Calsyn moved with their three sons from Iowa to Austin, Texas, in 1976. Then, in 1993she moved to Marble Falls. She is well known for her writing, her singing in the First United Methodist Church choir and the Bluebonnet Chorale, and serving as a past chair of the Burnet County Historical Commission and charter member and treasurer of the Falls on the Colorado Museum (FOCM) in Marble Falls.

In Marble Falls, Calsyn used her experience as a licensed interior designer to restore the Victorian home built on Seventh Street in 1892 for Juliet Johnson Christian, wife of Marble Falls founder George Christian and daughter of Marble Falls founder Adam R. Johnson. The home has been the site of a Christmas Open House sponsored by the museum for about 14 years and for other community events every year.

Calsyn used her writing skills in Austin in sad chapters involving her sons, and she has written a great deal more in Marble Falls. “When I began to expand my writing I did nothing with it except put it in a folder. That folder was lost in one of the family moves,” she wrote in her biography. “Then someone from my Westlake church in Austin asked if I would write a poem about the history of our church. I told her I didn't write poetry.

“But the words kept running around in my head, and I had to write them down. So it was that I added poetry to my writing. Before long, I sent a poem to a statewide church publication. They used it and I earned a dollar!”

Since that beginning, Calsyn has written hundreds of poems, often shared with the local writers' club and critique groups. She began sending her poems to various national and international publications and has had more than a hundred of them published in ten different publications.

“The philosophy of my being open about both happy and sad events in my life has carried through in my writing. I do not shy away from writing about grief or my faith in God,” Calsyn said. “Most of my poetry now is free verse, and I strive for clarity.”

“Retirement suits me,” she said. “I find subjects for my writing as I participate in family and community activities.”

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