Poet and fiction writer Mark Nickels grew up in western Michigan and was educated at CUNY Hunter College.
In his debut poetry collection, Cicada (2000), Nickels’s poems often find their structure within an extended lyric form. “By turns, nostril-flaring sentient (‘The brittle day is kindling.’), then spare and sealed (‘breath blooms and shrinks’), the poet’s intimacy with, [and] inventive handling of, the elements and their diverse inhabitants impresses, the more so because he never subjugates them in tiresome tribute to The Indomitable Human Spirit,” observed Maureen Holm in a 2001 review of Cicada for NYC Big City Lit.
Winner of the Milton Dorfman Prize as well as the University of Southern California’s Ann Stanford Poetry Prize as judged by poet Yusef Komunyakaa, Nickels was also a finalist both at the Lyric Recovery Festival and for the Dana Award in Poetry. He is a former New York State Arts Foundation Fellow in Fiction.
Nickels lives in Brooklyn.