NAME: Thom Nickels*
Thom Nickels, a Philadelphia-based author/journalist/poet, is the author of eight published books including The Cliffs of Aries// (1988), //Two Novellas: Walking Water & After All This// (1989, nominated for a 1989 Lambda Literary Award and a 1990 Hugo Award), //The Boy on the Bicycle// (1993-94), //Manayunk (A History)// (2001), //Gay and Lesbian Philadelphia// (2002-03), //Tropic of Libra (2003), Philadelphia Architecture and Out in History (2005). He is a regular contributor to the Gay and Lesbian Review and the Lambda Book Report. He was named a judge in the non-fiction essays/anthologies for the 2002 and 2007 Lambda Literary Awards. His column, Different Strikes, in a Philadelphia mainstream newspaper [The Philadelphia Welcomat] was the first weekly “out” newspaper column in the nation.
Nickels has written bylined columns, celebrity interviews, theater and art reviews and previews, features and book reviews for Metro Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Style Magazine, The Philadelphia Gay News, City Paper.// He is a Contributing Editor for //Philadelphia////’s Weekly Press, the weekly architecture critic for ////Philadelphia//// Metro and the monthly architectural writer for The Evening Bulletin. He is// a weekly social commentary columnist for Philadelphia’s STAR Publications//. His travel articles are published regularly in the New York-based Passport Magazine.// His poetry is published annually in the Paris-based [Gogh’s Ear] (French Connection Press, Paris). Nickels is listed in //Who’s Who in// //America////, 2002-08. He was awarded the AIA Lewis Mumford Award for Architectural Journalism in 2005. His two act play, “Lincoln in Louisville” is under consideration at the Actor’s Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. He is currently writing an historical novel about Lincoln’s stay in Louisville.
Nickels co-founded the Arts Defense League (later renamed the Coalition for Philadelphia Art), a grassroots organization instrumental in keeping Maxfield Parrish’s ‘The Dream Garden’ in Philadelphia after an attempted buy-out in the mid-1990’s by Las Vegas casino mogul, Steve Wynn. This grassroots campaign brought media attention to the issue and served to galvanize state and city support to keep “Dream Garden’ in Philadelphia. Nickels was interviewed extensively by People Magazine and the local press after forming the organization.
Nickels was a member of the Boston Gay Liberation Front in 1969 and wrote
for a number of Boston-based underground/alternative newspapers at that time, including ‘Lavender Vision’ and ‘The Ole Mole.’ In 1969 he hawked gay liberation material in Harvard Square. In Philadelphia, Nickels joined The Gay Alternative Magazine Literary Collective where he published short stories and was poetry editor.
Nickels, a native of Chester County, Pennsylvania, attended Eastern College, Baltimore, Maryland (now part of the University of Maryland) and the Charles Morris Price School in Philadelphia where he was editor of the school magazine and where he was awarded The Carrie May Price Award for Best Student Work in Journalism.
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