Writer of the Week: Kathy Mangan

Kathy Mangan. Photo courtesy of McDaniel College.Kathy Mangan. Photo courtesy of McDaniel College.

A beloved English professor at McDaniel and an avid poet, Kathy Mangan has been part of the McDaniel community since 1977, when she was hired to teach American literature and creative writing.

She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1950, and grew up in suburban Mount Lebanon until moving to New England at the age of 13. She graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in English, and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at Ohio University.

During her years at McDaniel, she was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Ralph and Dorothy John Professorship in the Humanities in 1999. She was also the inaugural recipient of the Joan Develin Coley Professorship in Creative Expression and the Arts in 2010.

Mangan’s collection of poetry include Ragged Alphabet, published in 1979, and Above the Tree Line, published in 1995. Many of her works have been selected as part of bigger anthologies or as part of creative writing projects. Such examples are the title poem “Above the Tree Line,” which was awarded inclusion in Pushcart Prize XV: Best of the Small Presses, and “The Whistle,” which was part of the Poetry in Motion series by Baltimore city.

Her poetry is inspired by the everyday and the commonplace, that which everyone lives everyday. Another major source of inspiration for Mangan is the relationships between people, which can be seen fully developed in her poem “The Whistle,” as the poetic voice narrates the interaction between a younger Mangan and her father.