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Tomas Moniz is the founder, editor, and a writer for the award-winning zine Rad Dad. Looking for radical parenting community, he created Rad Dad to provide the space for parents (particularly fathers) to share, commiserate and plan with each other, and to support each other in challenging patriarchy one diaper at a time. As China Martens has said, “Tomas has been the most vocal voice within zines trying to start and keep a discussion within this aspect of radical politics and parenthood.” His writing has been included in many zines about parenting as well as in the books My Mother Wears Combat Boots and Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind.
He’s been making zines since the late '90s, and his most current project is the serialized zine novella, Without Words & Without Kneeling, which began in September 2010 and will continue a chapter a month for twelve months. As Jami Sailor, longtime zinemaker, explained, “I enjoyed Without Words & Without Kneeling and am impressed with Moniz’s concept. I really love seeing zinemakers expand on the current concepts and definitions of what constitutes a zine.”
He is the father of three children and lives with a menagerie of animals in Berkeley, California.
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 296
Rad Families: A Celebration honors the messy, the painful, the playful, the beautiful, the myriad ways we create families. This is not an anthology of experts, or how-to articles on perfect parenting; it often doesn’t even try to provide answers. Instead, the writers strive to be honest and vulnerable in sharing their stories and experiences, their failures and their regrets.
Gathering parents and writers from diverse communities, it explores the process of getting pregnant from trans birth to adoption, grapples with issues of racism and police brutality, probes raising feminists and feminist parenting. It plumbs the depths of empty nesting and letting go.
Some contributors are recognizable authors and activists but most are everyday parents working and loving and trying to build a better world one diaper change at a time. It’s a book that reminds us all that we are not alone, that community can help us get through the difficulties, can, in fact, make us better people. It’s a celebration, join us!
Contributors include Jonas Cannon, Ian MacKaye, Burke Stansbury, Danny Goot, Simon Knaphus, Artnoose, Welch Canavan, Daniel Muro LaMere, Jennifer Lewis, Zach Ellis, Alicia Dornadic, Jesse Palmer, Mindi J., Carla Bergman, Tasnim Nathoo, Rachel Galindo, Robert Liu-Trujillo, Dawn Caprice, Shawn Taylor, D.A. Begay, Philana Dollin, Airial Clark, Allison Wolfe, Roger Porter, cubbie rowland-storm, Annakai & Rob Geshlider, Jeremy Adam Smith, Frances Hardinge, Jonathan Shipley, Bronwyn Davies Glover, Amy Abugo Ongiri, Mike Araujo, Craig Elliott, Eleanor Wohlfeiler, Scott Hoshida, Plinio Hernandez, Madison Young, Nathan Torp, Sasha Vodnik, Jessie Susannah, Krista Lee Hanson, Carvell Wallace, Dani Burlison, Brian Whitman, scott winn, Kermit Playfoot, Chris Crass, and Zora Moniz.
“Rad dads, rad families, rad children. These stories show us that we are not alone. That we don’t have all the answers. That we are all learning.”
—Nikki McClure, illustrator, author, parent
“Rad Families is the collection for all families.”
—Innosanto Nagara, author/illustrator of A Is for Activist
“This collection takes the anaesthetized myth of parenting and reminds us what intimacy looks like. . . . The contributors describe the contours of family in a way that resonates.”
—Virgie Tovar, editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion
“Want a thriving family raising magical kids, building beloved community, and rooted in a vision of liberation that frees us all of white supremacist hetero-patriarchy? Read this book.”
—Chris Crass, author of Towards Collective Liberation
“I love this book! Wonderfully written, tenderly honest, unabashedly hilarious, deeply important stories from the messy beautiful world of real-life parenting. Thank goodness it exists.”
—Michelle Tea, author of How to Grow Up
Editors: Tomas Moniz and Jeremy Adam Smith
Publisher: PM Press/Microcosm Publishing
Published: September 2011
Size: 8 by 5
Page count: 200 Pages
Subjects: Parenting, Politics, Sociology
Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood combines the best pieces from the award-winning zine Rad Dad and from the blog Daddy Dialectic, two kindred publications that have tried to explore parenting as political territory. Both of these projects have pushed the conversation around fathering beyond the safe, apolitical focus most books and websites stick to; they have not been complacent but have worked hard to create a diverse, multi-faceted space in which to grapple with the complexity of fathering.
Today more than ever, fatherhood demands constant improvisation, risk, and struggle. With grace and honesty and strength, Rad Dad’s writers tackle all the issues that other parenting guides are afraid to touch: the brutalities, beauties, and politics of the birth experience, the challenges of parenting on an equal basis with mothers, the tests faced by transgendered and gay fathers, the emotions of sperm donation, and parental confrontations with war, violence, racism, and incarceration. Rad Dad is for every father out in the real world trying to parent in ways that are loving, meaningful, authentic, and ultimately revolutionary.
Steve Almond, Jack Amoureux, Mike Araujo, Mark Andersen, Jeff Chang, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jeff Conant, Jason Denzin, Cory Doctorow, Sky Cosby, Craig Elliott, Chip Gagnon, Keith Hennessy, David L. Hoyt, Simon Knapus, Ian MacKaye, Tomas Moniz, Zappa Montag, Raj Patel, Jeremy Adam Smith, Jason Sperber, Burke Stansbury, Shawn Taylor, Tata, Jeff West, and Mark Whiteley.
"Rad Dad is a rattlebag of the rough-hewn and the polished, the insightful and the infuriating, the comic and the sublime. But it’s always passionate, critical and, in moments, heart-stopping. In short: Rad Dad is fab." —Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing"Rad Dad is a book about all the shapes and sizes that dads come in, united by the simple narrative thread of man and his children. Read the book and love your kids. It's that simple." —Tom Matlack, cofounder of the Good Men Project
“Rad Dad gives voice to egalitarian parenting and caregiving by men in a truly radical fashion, with its contributors challenging traditional norms of what it means to be a father and subverting paradigms, while making you laugh in the process. With its thoughtful and engaging stories on topics like birth, stepfathering, gender, politics, pop culture, and the challenges of kids growing older, this collection of essays and interviews is a compelling addition to books on fatherhood.” —Jennifer Silverman, coeditor of My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities
For a calendar of speaking events, please click here
PM Press Blog
Interviews & Articles
- MUTHA Magazine
- The Microcosom Interview
- Lyrics & Dirges: new Berkeley reading series
- Tomas Moniz on This Manic Mama podcast
- Rad Families: Library Journal
- Rad Dad: Red Dirt Report
- Rad Dad: Razorcake Magazine
- Rad Dad: Razorcake Magazine
- Rad Dad: Left Turn Magazine
- Rad Dad: Juneau Empire
- Rad Dad: Bitch Magazine
Rad Families: A Review
By Julianne Smith
Writing professor Moniz’s Rad Dad started as a zine over ten years ago, and this reviewer had the pleasure of critiquing that title in 2011 during its growing pains. Now, with a few more kids, Rad Dad has a full-fledged family, and this latest offering exhibits growth in depth and advice. These collected essays, written by various contributors, are raw, inspired, and artful, capturing the joys and pains of parenting with no apologies and no lack of grace. As such, some entries will speak more to readers than others, but the truth and beauty they evoke is elegant and grounding, celebrating the victories and struggles of a generation of parents: “I did not grow up in a family where anything seemed possible. The future did not really exist because surviving the present was the priority.” Topics range from sex to incarceration to adoption and include the viewpoints of mothers and fathers both new and seasoned, introspective and wishing for a do-over. VERDICT For the literary-minded, this Rad Dad collective is a gem of inspired thought, though this reviewer still loathes the book jacket.
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Rad Families week at MUTHA Magazine: An Interview with Tomas Moniz
December 7th, 2016
MUTHA: What is your hope for who this book will reach?
Tomas Moniz: My hope is that RAD FAMILIES reaches those who already know that all of our families are a source of power and inspiration. But I also hope the book reaches people who are struggling to find their family or believe that families look only one particular way. I want this book to blow their mind, to help people change through the stories so many people, young and old, parents and chosen family, share.Read more | Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Back to reviews | Back to top
Rad Dad: A Review
by Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report
For instance, editor Moniz, a self-described "feminist father, a rad dad, a militant antiracist," says that while you may "lose the battle" in raising your children to be loving and accepting of all people, you end up "winning the war" by living out your values in their presence and not changing who you are. After all, Moniz notes that kids spend only a fraction of time under the influence of their parents, compared to the influence they experience from media and society.Read more | Buy book now | Download e-Book now | Back to reviews | Back to top
Rad Dad: A Review
By Kurt Morris
Monday, January 23 2012
I am not a dad and have no intention of ever becoming one, so, in one sense, I am probably not the target audience of this book, nor am I perhaps the best person to review it. That being said, I still enjoyed Rad Dad. Edited by the author of the zine, Rad Dad, and the blogger of “Daddy Dialectic,” these pieces (whose contributors include a wide array of men) delve into the idea of how to raise your child with a counter-cultural viewpoint. In other words, if you’re an activist or punk rocker or some kind of “outsider,” how do you make your child aware of those ideas in a society that can seem very sexist, racist, and/or homophobic? How does the father pass on those attributes that made them into who they are, as well as made them aware of their own hegemony, as men? I find this topic interesting, especially as I get older and see more punk rockers having children.
Rad Dad: A Review
By Steve Hart
January 23rd, 2012
The coolest aspect of reading Rad Dad is knowing that I’m not the only one who wants to raise children in a safe environment and continue to retain our “radness.” Rad Dad is a collection of accounts from a variety of fathers from all spectrums of life. Every chapter is a good read, even if I couldn’t relate exactly to every situation. Most importantly, Rad Dad is written by a group of fathers who also don’t want to be assholes.
Rad Dad: A Review
By Tom Ricker
Left Turn Magazine
November 4th, 2011
So, I would encourage anyone to read this, dad or not. But for the dads there is real value here, a richness of explorations about the challenges of fatherhood that is unique in my experience. Jeremy Adam Smith writes in one of his essays, ending a passage about how his commitment to feminist ideals was challenged by becoming a parent:
There are alternatives; you don’t have to be the man your father was; you don’t have to be the idiots we see on TV; you can be a new kind of man, and you can help your sons become that kind of man.
Rad Dad: A Review
by Kathy Ward
December 15th, 2011
A "best of" collection of essays from the 'zine Rad Dad and the blog Daddy Dialectic in which Moniz and Smith write about how being fathers has changed their lives in the whole - the politics of being a dad, whether it's being the only guy on the playground, marveling at the effortless way kids pick up on benefits and detriments of various skin tones, trying to avoid the pink and blue divide, or working on the balancing of "dad" and "mom" responsibilities and options. There are plenty of books out there from women examining their experiences being a parent - here's one by the men. Thoughtful, passionate, and intelligent, these essays will make readers consider their own thoughts about parenthood and what it means in our society today.
Rad Dad: A Review
by Rachel Fudge
Rad Dad’s contributors are a politically engaged, profeminist, anticonsumerist bunch, but the truth is, even if they weren’t, this would still be a pretty radical book. Even in 2011, nearly 20 years after the debut of the like-minded Hip Mama zine, for men to talk seriously and introspectively about parenting is a pretty revolutionary act.