Sue Mangan
Columnist: Blowin’ In

“Blowin’ In” Columnist Susan Mangan

Susan was born in Chicago, Illinois, and holds a Master’s degree in English from John Carroll University and a Master’s degree in education from Baldwin-Wallace University. Her column gives her perspective on an Italian girl who married an Irish American, and became immersed in the Irish culture and ways.  A “Blow-in” is an Irish term for a person new to the neighborhood.

OhIANews: Susan, I love to ask writers and English majors who their favorite writers’ are, who are yours?

Susan: William Butler Yeats is my favorite poet.  “ When You Are Old” is my favorite poem, and “The Dead”, by James Joyce is the most poignant of the many short stories I’ve read. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to all my favorite literary hotspots in the United States, England and Ireland.

OhIANews: Childhood memories play a large part in your writing, can you tell us a little about growing up?

Susan: As a child, I always had what my mother called an “overactive imagination.” Growing up in the city, I loved the museums, beaches, and the many festivals that Chicago offered. Fortunately for me, I was also able to indulge my love of nature as my mother grew up on a farm in Billings, Missouri.

Every year we would visit my grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins. I was happiest helping on the farm. My grandmother Mim passed at one hundred and two. She was a great reader, world traveler, and a gifted teacher. As I grew older, we discovered our shared interest in antiques, literature, and quiet time. When my first child was born, she encouraged me to “set that child in her pumpkin seat and get on with your writing!” Well over the years I’ve spent more time rearing children than writing the next great American novel, but that feat is still on my to do list.

OhIANews: What else inspires your writing?

Susan: Upon meeting my husband, Ireland, her rolling hills, imposing mountains, and sweet streams also proved inspirational to my writing. Moreover, I value the kindness and hospitality of my husband’s family.

OhIANews: What do you do when you’re not writing for the Ohio Irish American News?

Susan: Currently, I’m a private tutor helping students to become better readers and writers. I also teach creative writing at Bay Arts in Bay Village, Ohio. I also have a cottage baking business; “Rosa- Peasant Cookies with Style”.

I’m very grateful to John O’Brien, Jr. for providing me the opportunity to write for the OhIANews: for the past nine years. In the future, I would like to publish my series of Christmas stories that I’ve written, as well as compile a “ Best of Blowin’ In” book of essays. Additionally, I’ve written a children’s Irish fairytale that I hope will make it to the hands of some publishing house. Lastly, I am well on my way to creating the next “Great American Novel”, at last count I was ten pages into my dream!


Susan holds a Master’s Degree in English from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace University. She may be contacted at su*******@ya***.com.