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Dan Schneider (writer)

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

Dan Schneider
Born (1965-02-02) February 2, 1965 (age 54)
EducationFranklin K. Lane High School
Home townNew York City, U.S.
GenrePoetry, criticism, fiction
SpouseJessica Schneider


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.[1]

Schneider's poetry has been praised by Waswo X. Waswo.[4]


In 2008, Schneider's review of British author Zadie Smith's novel White Teeth was a featured excerpt in Contemporary Fiction: The Novel Since 1990, edited by Pamela Bickley, and published by Cambridge University Press.[5] His reviews have also been reprinted or excerpted in a number of places, including on the book Design and Truth from Yale University Press.[6] and in The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates by Howard Bloom.[7]

Schneider's other writings have been published in a number of publications including Monsters & Critics[8] 10,000 Monkeys, Dublin Quarterly, Culture Vulture, No Ripcord Magazine, BlogCritics,, and HackWriters.

Media coverage

In 1999, the alternative newspaper City Pages (at the time the sister paper of the Village Voice) printed a cover story about Schneider. The article, titled "Dan Schneider vs. the Rest of the World," focused on Schneider's attempts to change what he saw as the incestuous nature of the Twin Cities' poetry scene. In addition to samples of Schneider's own poetry, the article featured comments about Schneider from both supporters and detractors.[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.[9]

He has been quoted in such publications as The Village Voice,[10] The Journal Gazette,[11] and on public radio.[12] Schneider's work has drawn both praise and criticism from other online publications, including Web del Sol[13] Flashpoint Magazine,[14] and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore.[15]


Schneider founded his website, Cosmoetica, in 2001. In 2007, ranked Cosmoetica in the top half million literary websites.[16]

In 2004, Schneider's Cosmoetica website was discussed in a New York Times article, "The Widening Web of Digital Lit" by David Orr. Schneider was quoted as describing his own poems as "better than Walt Whitman" while T.S. Eliot was assessed as "1 of the most grossly overrated writers in the history of the world, & the English language".[17] Schneider and Cosmoetica has been cited in a number of academic and related books including The Creative Writing MfA Handbook,[18] Contemporary Fiction: The Novel Since 1990,[5] and a number of other books[19][20][21][22] including Best of the Web 2009.[23]

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."[24]

Film criticism

In late 2006 Schneider further expanded his website to include an all film subsite called Cinemension.[25] Schneider has published his film reviews in a number of online publications. His reviews are also aggregated on Rotten Tomatoes.[26]

Schneider's film criticism was praised by Roger Ebert, who called him a "considerable critic".[27]


  1. ^ a b c Dan Schneider vs. the Rest of the World by Brad Zellar, City Pages, Twin Cities Reader Winter Books Issue, Volume 20, Issue 990, November 24, 1999. Accessed September 7, 2006.
  2. ^, 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. ^ ""I never carry my camera on a holiday: Interview with Waswo X Waswo"". The Pioneer. New Delhi, India. December 10, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Contemporary Fiction: The Novel Since 1990, edited by Pamela Bickley, Cambridge University Press, published July 2008.
  6. ^ Design and Truth by Robert Grudin, accessed May 16, 2011.
  7. ^ The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates by Howard Bloom, Prometheus Books, 2012, page 3
  8. ^ "M&C Interviews Charles Johnson," The Moderate Voice, May 30, 2007.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Free Will Astrology" by Rob Brezsny, The Village Voice, October 11, 2006.
  11. ^ "Writer's best works were seen on screen" by Amidon Stevens, The Journal Gazette, June 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Nebraska-Born Poet Finds Fame Overseas by Avishay Artsy, Nebraska Public Radio special about poet James Emanuel, which quotes Schneider.
  13. ^ Bodega Survey, Reviews of Lit Sites, Publications, and Places by Tim McGrath, Steph Henck, and THE BABE, Web del Sol, Del Sol Press, accessed September 7, 2006.
  14. ^ "The Schneidercentric Poetry World of Dan Schneider: Cosmoetica vs. Planet Earth," Flashpoint Magazine, accessed January 9, 2018.
  15. ^ The Acid Tongue: Dan Schneider connects the dots by Cyril Wong, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, July 4, 2003, accessed September 7, 2006.
  16. ^ listed 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.
  17. ^ Orr, David (October 3, 2004). "Where to Find Digital Lit". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  18. ^ The Creative Writing Mfa Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students by Tom Kealey, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, page 160.
  19. ^ The Sky Rained Heroes: A Journey from War to Remembrance by Frederick LaCroix, Synergy Books, 2009, page 274.
  20. ^ Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web by Joseph M. Reagle, MIT Press, 2015, page 192.
  21. ^ Literary and Visual Ralegh by Christopher M. Armitage, Oxford University Press, 2016.
  22. ^ Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry edited by Camille T. Dungy, University of Georgia Press, 2009, page 353.
  23. ^ Best of the Web 2009 edited by Lee K. Abbott and Nathan Leslie, Dzanc Books, 2009, page 324.
  24. ^ On Writing Poetry: For Poets Made as Well as Born by Al Rocheleau, Shantih Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-615-39643-9, page 192.
  25. ^ Cinemension, accessed March 13, 2007.
  26. ^ Dan Schneider page on Rotten Tomatoes, accessed July 5, 2009.
  27. ^ "Good Roger, or Bad Roger?" by Roger Ebert, originally published in The Chicago Sun Times, December 9, 2009; accessed January 9, 2018.

External links