Tomas Moniz was born on June 5, 1969 in El Paso, TX. He is an author, activist, and zinester who is known for his work on the parenting zine Rad Dad and activism for parents and upcoming Bay Area artists.
Tomas Moniz originally lived in Berkeley for about 20 years and moved to Fruitvale a couple of years ago. He chose Oakland because of its rich and vibrant roots. While he was living in Berkeley, Tomas’s activism spread throughout the SF Bay Area. He started the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Festival (EBABZ).
Tomas said that being a parent made him “a better person, better parent, and gave [him] a better mindset.” The process of creating Rad Dad gave him the opportunity to seek parenting resources, cast light on stories outside of the mainstream, and rewrite what he was to adopt when it came to what makes someone a parent.
Tomas Moniz has been creating zines since the late ‘90s. He believed that the zine community cultivated a sort of richness in the sharing of stories. Tomas’s inspiration for Rad Dad was Hip Mama, which started as a Mills College project. The zine Hip Mama was a mother’s guide to parenting. Moniz was a single parent trying to figure out how to raise his family better than what he was exposed to as a child. Rad Dad came from his need for parenting resources that was not offered to fathers. His goal was to break the gender binary to create a collective of positive and masculine parenting experiences.
- Lyrics & Dirges at Pegasus Books (2349 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704). Tomas used to coordinate a reading series every month at Pegasus Books. He frequented Pegasus Books to get his and other Bay Area artists’ work seen. Moniz also mentioned that Pegasus Books is one of the only bookstores in the area to display zines for struggling artists. Moniz gave up his position to focus on his new and upcoming work.
- Saturday Night Special at Nick’s Lounge (3218 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703). Moniz co-hosts the Saturday Night Special at Nick’s Lounge every month. This open mic is another one of Tomas’s sources of inspiration because there are artists that come from all over to share their poetry and current work.
- Red Bay Coffee (3098 East 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94601). Moniz is a Red Bay frequenter. He believes that it is necessary to get out of our normal environment to stimulate inspirational writing. This café is a quiet space for Tomas to be able to focus on solidifying his own ideas, grading his students’ work, and coming up with new ideas for his upcoming works.
~ by Jada Ross ~
Moniz, Tomas. Rad Families: A Celebration. E-book, PM Press, 2016.