Phelan is an award winning poet and writer. His book of poetry, "A Point Beyond Silence" published by Wyndham Hall Press in 1987 for which he received an Author's Award by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This book contained numerous award-winning poems for which Tom was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry by "Published! Magazine." He was also featured in the New York Times "On Books" column by Shirley Horner. His poetry has been published in literary magazines and anthologies throughout the US and Ireland.