Dan Schneider (writer)

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Dan Schneider
Born (1965-02-02) February 2, 1965 (age 51)
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Film critic
Nationality American
Education Graduated from Franklin K. Lane High School
Period 1984–present
Subject Film
Spouse Jessica Schneider

Dan Schneider (born 1965) is an American poet and critic of literature and film, who runs the criticism and literary website Cosmoetica.


Schneider was born in 1965 to an unmarried Minnesota mother. Given up for adoption in New York City, Schneider grew up with a working-class family in the Glendale-Ridgewood neighborhoods of Queens. According to his memoir and press accounts, at age six Schneider witnessed a murder, the first of many. During high school, Schneider was a gang member.[1][2]


When Schneider was in his mid-20s, he moved to Minnesota to learn more about his biological family. While living in the Twin Cities, Schneider became involved in local poetry readings and poetry slams. Schneider became known for his poetry, ability to critique others, and criticism of academic-style poetry, what he called the incestuous nature of poetry, where writers praised each other's works in a self-promotional cycle.[3]

This latter quality made him controversial. In one reported instance, Schneider attended a poetry reading by Robert Bly. During the question-and-answer session, Schneider asked why Bly was "such a lousy poet." Schneider followed this by quoting from an essay Bly once wrote on Robert Lowell, in which Bly talked about the younger generation needing to destroy the old, and how trees needed to burn to save the forest. Schneider said that's what he wanted to do for poetry.[4]

Media coverage

In 1999, the alternative newspaper City Pages printed a cover story about Schneider focused on his attempts to change what he saw as the incestuous nature of the Twin Cities' poetry scene.[1] Many readers, including established poets from the area, responded to the article, with most of the poets condemning Schneider and most general readers praising his honesty.[5]


In recent years, Schneider has focused his energy on his website, Cosmoetica, founded in 2001. In 2007, Ranking.com ranked Cosmoetica in the top half million literary websites.[6] Essays and reviews published on the site have been reprinted or referenced in a number of books, including The Creative Writing MfA Handbook,[7] Contemporary Fiction: The Novel Since 1990,[8] and other books.[9] Poet Al Rocheleau said that the site has "a clearly anti-establishment take on the academic poetry scene, as well as fearless, brilliant assessments of many poets, including the famous, with which you may or may not agree."[10]

Schneider wrote a multi-volume memoir titled True Life. Sections of this memoir, along with other of his writings, have been published in a number of print and online magazines, such as The Manifest,[11] 10,000 Monkeys,[12] and the Dublin Quarterly.[13]

Film criticism

In late 2006 Schneider further expanded his website to include an all film subsite called Cinemension.[14] Schneider has published his film reviews in a number of online publications. His reviews are also aggregated on Rotten Tomatoes.[15]

Schneider's film criticism has been praised by Roger Ebert, who called him a "considerable critic".[16]


  1. ^ a b Dan Schneider vs. the Rest of the World Archived October 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. by Brad Zellar, City Pages, Twin Cities Reader Winter Books Issue, Volume 20, Issue 990, November 24, 1999. Accessed September 7, 2006.
  2. ^ Laurahird.com, excerpt from Angels and Gangsters by Dan Schneider, accessed September 7, 2006.
  3. ^ "The good, the bad and the poesy," The Star Tribune, June 11, 2000.
  4. ^ Dan Schneider vs. the Rest of the World, page 6 Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. by Brad Zellar, City Pages, Twin Cities Reader Winter Books Issue, Volume 20, Issue 990, November 24, 1999. Accessed September 7, 2006.
  5. ^ City Pages letters page, with 21 letters to the editor published in response to "Dan Schneider vs. the Rest of the World," accessed September 7, 2006.
  6. ^ Ranking.com listed Cosmoetica.com as being in the top half-million websites in the world, and the 8th highest ranked poetry site, in data accessed on March 13, 2007.
  7. ^ The Creative Writing Mfa Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students by Tom Kealey, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, page 160.
  8. ^ Contemporary Fiction: The Novel Since 1990, edited by Pamela Bickley, and published by Cambridge University Press, published July 2008, mentioned online at Cosmoetica, by Dan Schneider, July 24, 2008, accessed July 25, 2008.
  9. ^ The Sky Rained Heroes: A Journey from War to Remembrance by Frederick LaCroix, Synergy Books, 2009, page 274.
  10. ^ On Writing Poetry: For Poets Made as Well as Born by Al Rocheleau, Shantih Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-615-39643-9, page 192.
  11. ^ "Inside of Ridgewood" by Dan Schneider, The Manifest E-zine, issue 19, accessed March 13, 2007.
  12. ^ "The Essence of Tyranny" by Dan Schneider, Ten Thousand Monkeys, Issue #68, August 2004, accessed March 13, 2007.
  13. ^ The Will to Believe" by Dan Schneider, Dublin Quarterly, Issue 2, accessed March 13, 2007.
  14. ^ Cinemension, accessed March 13, 2007.
  15. ^ Dan Schneider page on Rotten Tomatoes, accessed July 5, 2009.
  16. ^ "Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?" by Roger Ebert, December 9, 2009; accessed December 10, 2009.

External links