about matt pelicano

Matt Pelicano was born near Syracuse, New York and by age 10 was already writing poems, lyrics, music, and short stories. At the age of 17, Matt published his first compilation of poetry, followed by a second compilation a year later. At age 18, Matt’s poetry was featured in a dedicated, centerfold spread in the New York Span and numerous inclusions in the monthly poetry journal, Omnific.

Matt always seeks to educate his readers, provoke introspection, and - above all - entertain in everything he writes, from poetry and song lyrcs to short stories and novels. One example of this approach can be seen in his novel, A Butterfly in Paris. The result of almost two years-worth of onsite research and set in Paris, France, A Butterfly in Paris is an adventure story, a travel guide, a treatise on love, and a French language primer all rolled into one.

One of Matt's young adult novels, Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog, seeks to raise awareness of diabetes alert dogs and the vital work they perform, while encouraging those suffering with juvenile diabetes to always “follow the adventure” and live life to the fullest.

Recommended by world-renown dog trainer, Debby Kay, “Tabouli perfectly captures the spirit and journey of a remarkable service dog.” Tabouli was nominated for three awards by the Dog Writer’s Association of America.

Striving always to explore the human condition in all its diversity, his adult novel, The Woolems of Averlune is an allegorical journey through the five stages of grief and back to hope and healing. The Woolems of Averlune has been hailed by many readers as the first step toward healing after experiencing losses of different kinds.

Matt's public speaking style is engaging and personal. At home with large audiences of 500 or more teenagers, as well as more intimate book clubs, Matt makes connections with compassion, delivering a positive message and challenging others to impact the world around them for the good.

Matt Pelicano has received nationwide media attention for his writing. Some of this press coverage can be viewed in the Media section of this website. From his youth, Matt has always loved the poetry of E.E. Cummings, Shel Silverstein, TS Eliot, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and William Shakespeare. His literary heroes include JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie, and David McCullough.

In 2023, with gratitude to those publishers with whom he worked in the past who were essential in helping him achieve global distribution, Matt launched his own publishing company, Averlune Press. The mission of Averlune Press is to offer young and undiscovered writers an opportunity to see their work in print. Averlune Press now publishes all of Matt's works, as well.

Matt is married to his twin flame, Sandra Stanton, whom he has known since the day of his birth, loves their five children with all his heart, and lives in New York and South Carolina.


Annelyse Bellamy thought she knew her mother well. But, when unimaginable tragedy strikes, and a mysterious young man plants questions in her mind, everything Annelyse ever took for granted is cast into doubt.

Tracing a path outlined for her by a cryptic poem, Annelyse sets out on a journey to discover the truth about the mythical creatures called Woolems, and to find answers to the questions clouding her mother’s past.

Along the way, she learns a valuable lesson: that there is no more-foreign country through which to wander than Grief, but the way back to all that she once held dear lay hidden where least expected.

Tabouli is a real-life diabetes alert dog who lives with his owner, 13-year old Elizabeth Vaughan, in Greenville, South Carolina. Striving to overcome his tragic beginnings, Tabouli's love and devotion toward Elizabeth enable him to surmount challenges and obstacles, prejudice and doubt in order to become a certified service dog.

When tragedy strikes, Tabouli must find his way out of the shadows of grief which threaten to undermine all he has accomplished. Deciding always to follow the adventure, this heart-driven dog is surprised to find within himself a greatness he never expected.

Recommended by world-renown dog trainer, Debby Kay, this book “so perfectly captures the spirit and journey of a remarkable service dog.”

Esmée Délancourt was perfectly happy never to leave her quiet home in Saint-Denis-lès-Chevreuse, France. But when the doors of the commuter train bound for Paris slide closed, trapping her inside, she finds herself an unwilling participant in an adventure through the City of Lights.

As Esmée struggles to find her way home again, the little butterfly meets a cast of characters and witnesses a world of wonders she could never have imagined.

Through danger, love, and loss, she comes to understand the meaning of the word home and the symbolism hidden in a sculpture tucked away in the Louvre Museum; a sculpture her mother used to teach an important childhood lesson.

solitude is a collection of poems written within the span of nine months. During this time of discovery, the poet found himself living in a place that held great significance from his youth, a place whose present situation did not always easily reconcile with its past. In the quiet of his thoughts and the solitude of hidden moments, the poet picked up the threads he had long ago set aside, in an effort to reconnect past with present, and better understand the tapestry his life had become.

solitude seeks to forge connections between ancestry and destiny, life and death, questions and answers, and gratitude with a deepening of love. Though not written with the intention of presenting a collection of common themes, a commonality runs through the selections included in this compilation of poems. Perhaps that commonality is simply the poet’s recognition that all things are connected and even the passage of time flows along a riverbed of purpose. In solitude, we are often better equipped to hear and understand that purpose. Within these pages, the poet learned to listen.

Winter Bloom is the result of a reawakening of things which had lain dormant. The poems contained herein sing of rebirth; they tell a love story in free verse; and they mark the passage of long, bleak winter into the arms of hopeful spring.

Every word was inspired by the mutual discovery taking place between two hearts. If there is a frenzied exuberance characterizing this collection of poetry, then it is the excitement of having found - in the most unlikely of places - everything that the poet never dared hope for.

From time to time, the reader hears echoes of passion as unabashed as the most naked emotions penned by E.E. Cummings, or desperation as stark as that of Sylvia Plath. But, above all, there is joy bursting from between these pages! The joy of life, the joy of love, the joy of springtime amid the world's wintering.

Seer Shilliness is a collection of rhymes; rhythms; whimsy; wonderings; wanderings and ponderings for the youthful heart.

Written purely to entertain, this little book of poetry could only be happier if it were also used as a coloring book!

Norman Baxter wasn’t very good at being a cat.

While his brothers and sisters were busy chasing butterflies and running after birds, Norman Baxter spent his days sleeping in a sunny patch of grass in the backyard.

When a terrible thunderstorm drives him far from home and headlong into danger, this most un-cat-like of all cats finds himself lost and alone in the wide world.

Will his family find him in time, or will everything he has ever known and loved be lost forever?

Norman Baxter is a mostly true story of a real-life cat who discovers that being himself, even if un-cat-like, makes all the difference.

"The jungle is never silent. It is too full of memories, too full of stories wanting to be heard. This is the story of how one young toucan discovered what it means to be changed by life’s adventure, what it means to become all you were created to be.

It is a tale veiled in the mist of myth and legend, as old as the rainbow itself. I know because I am a keeper of the old ways, a voice from the shadows whispering ancient words. And these words must never be forgotten." - The Black Jaguar

Humphrey the Hummingbird’s friends think he’s lazy. He doesn’t join them in their hard work of gathering food for the winter. Instead, Humphrey spends his days humming songs from his branch high above the meadow.

But, as the day grows hotter and their work grows harder, the other animals begin to notice something surprising — something that makes them think that maybe Humphrey isn’t so lazy, after all.

Humphrey the Lazy Hummingbird is a heartwarming story proving that we all have a unique gift. When shared with others, our unique gifts can lighten their loads and brighten their days.

A Seussical, lyrical, rhymingly-rhythmical comedy of errors that begins with a hole in a shoe and ends when a wiser Philbert learns a valuable lesson.

With Just An Empty Shoebox opens the lid and peeks inside a world of simple wonders and limitless creativity, in which dreams are stored away for a lifetime of happiness.


"'Philbert LaRue had a Hole in his Shoe' by Matt Pelicano begins with Philbert deciding to ignore the hole in his shoe. As the hole gets larger and larger, Philbert plugs it with his shirt, his cap and his belt, even the pot his plants were in. Nothing works. Had he fixed his shoe properly when he discovered the problem, Philbert would have been fine. But the hole gets larger, and Philbert finds himself in a terrible situation.

"Pelicano uses Seuss-like rhymes to create a delightful children's book with a message even little ones can learn: Take care of your problems when they are still small. My nieces and grandchildren laughed, finished the rhymes, and wanted me to read it again. You will find Pelicano's book a delight, and you'll agree with Philbert: "If I'd properly fixed it when first it was small, I would sooner have found I'd no problem at all."

Linda Kelly

Author of Mice on Main

"The world-building in 'A Butterfly in Paris' is superb, and it comes from the author spending six months in Paris to research the factual background to the story. As I read, I felt a deep, atmospheric sense of place. There was a great feeling of "point of view" throughout, and the idea that a city is interpreted through the unique vision of the eyes of the beholder."

Suzy Davies

Author & Poet

“Matt has so perfectly captured the joys, tribulations, and lessons this team experienced in a wonderful children’s story. You will cheer for Tabouli, cry with him, and want to hug him for being such a remarkable dog; giving unselfishly, not just once for his owner, but over and over again.”

Debby Kay

World-Renown Dog Trainer

“Today is a very good day -- for I have just finished reading Matt Pelicano's latest book TABOULI. If you love dogs you must read this book; if you love your family you must read this book; if you have ever lost someone you must read this book -- and finally; if you believe in the resiliency of the human spirit you must read this book! I was moved to tears of both joy and sadness as the Vaughan family deals with the challenges that any one of us might face.

"Matt Pelicano has written a truly beautiful book. It is a book that might be described as a story about the best parts of the human condition.”

Susan Manchester

Poet and Artist


Someone lived in an everywhere way;
as more he went, the less he stayed;
and little by little, by much, by small,
Someone began to go nowhere at all.

Somehow, somewhere, he’d misplaced his why;
as Who and When went where-ing by;
and wonder by ponder, at last, by how,
Someone decided to stop off at now.

He let go of then, he took hold of yet,
tried to recall, never forget;
he opened to maybe, to might, to true;
as olding became renewing his youth.

Now Someone lives in a Where-He-Is way,
as more he discovers, the more he stays;
by loving, and giving, in all, to try,
Someone has (grateful) discovered his Why.

The Yeah-buts, I-Know-buts,
the Can’ts and the Couldn’ts
Are not quite the same as
the Oughtn’ts or Shouldn’ts
They lead to I-Didn’t,
but could’ve and should’ve
If only the Yeah-buts had let me,
I would’ve

loneliness is a lake without horizons;
fathomless below, and limitless beyond;
upon still waters beneath a breathless
dome; this tiny boat - shot through
with worm-rot and splintering -
scattering debris on a field of fears;
without rudder or sail; adrift on a senseless sea;
with none aboard but me; blind from birth
in a wordless world; alone, i am
no company for myself;
murmuring madness, in endless cycles
of flesh-worn footpaths trodden
by tattered toes; shoeless
in the snow, a crimson trail on lily white gown,
where no one follows; and no one knows;
and no one answers the nightbird’s call;
while, in a secret room
of my inmost heart,
the rain begins to fall.

cold as drifted desolation
on a lake
where anguish goes
to die; the wind wails
hostile, with frozen flagrance,
she probes the secret spaces
where, once, my body clung to life;

i liquify; eyes tear
at the touch of harsh
winter’s dry breath;
she handles all things tender
too roughly;
even my nose runs
to outstrip her;
when only spring
could hope to win;

a torso stands,
limbless, leafless,
lifeless in the wrinkled fist
of brutal waters, once-liquid,
now stone; strangling the stifled
struggle; stripped bare
beneath translucent ice;
plundered dignity,
the final affront;

ringing the shore
like heartless spectators,
shrubs bristle wild
with morbid curiosity, straining
their broken necks to glimpse
the captive corpse;

my gorge rises at the sight
of so much grim despondent;
so much bleak and barren;
for, even the mountains
surrender to the scene;
while, beneath the biting snow,
one, hopeful crocus
strives to break free.

More Poetry Samples


The Woolems of Averlune Video Trailer

by Joey Pelicano, Rikson Stanton, Megan Pelicano, Mia Cotter

Your Carolina Interview


The Woolems of Averlune

Greenville Community Journal article

Your Carolina Interview



Story in the Rome Sentinel


Story in the Oneida Dispatch


Story in the Madison County Courier

Visit to Camperdown Academy

Greenville, SC


WSPA7 Interview

contact matt