This memoir of growing up punk in a California sliver of light and sea, along a metallic strip of oceanfront, grows and grows in the reader’s head until I thought I must be reading the ultimate novel—the book Dylan’s Tarantula might have been, or a Richard Farina version of Crying of Lot 49. Roar takes on loaded subjects with grace and startling beauty, but what we feel is terror, the ways in which children bring themselves up, try to propel their own lives one skate at a time. And always the wall ahead put up by speculators to keep kids down. That’s My War and that’s the truth of the matter, as you’ve never understood it this completely. —Kevin Killian
Matt Roar’s My War shreds gracefully back and forth through time and space, creating a fragmented portrait of a deep friendship between teenage boys full of all the complexity and tenderness that masculinity usually elides with a “no homo.” I suspect Roar started writing My War a long time ago, painting it on freights, scratching letters into a bench, etching it on a window with a rock, tagging wet cement. How lucky we are that he’s collected these unforgettable, funny, sad, vulnerable poems into a book. “In this world of cops and dads, you can still make things right.” My War is living proof. —Amy Berkowitz
Matt L. Roar is a writer, musician, and psychotherapist from San Francisco, currently living in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in JENKEM, The Surfer’s Journal, Weird Sister, The Poetry Foundation, The Brooklyn Poet’s Anthology, and elsewhere. He is the author of the chapbooks The Shredders (Mondo Bummer) and Probability of Dependent Events (Beard of Bees).