|Born||2 February 1965|
New York City
|Education||Graduated from Franklin K. Lane High School|
Dan Schneider (born 1965) is an American poet and critic of literature and film who runs the criticism and literary website Cosmoetica. Schneider's outspoken critiques have caused him to be recognized in a number of media outlets, including The New York Times.
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.
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.
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.
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. His reviews have also been reprinted or excerpted in a number of places, including on the book Design and Truth from Yale University Press. and in The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates by Howard Bloom.
Schneider's other writings have been published in a number of publications including Monsters & Critics10,000 Monkeys, Dublin Quarterly, Culture Vulture, No Ripcord Magazine, BlogCritics, CriticalCritics.com, and HackWriters.
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. 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.
In 2004, Schneider and his critical essays about literature were mentioned in a New York Times article, "The Widening Web of Digital Lit" by David Orr. He has also been quoted in other newspapers such as The Village Voice,The Journal Gazette, and on public radio. Schneider's work has drawn both praise and criticism from other online publications, including Web del Sol Flashpoint Magazine, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore along with various blogs.
Schneider founded his website, Cosmoetica, in 2001. In 2007, Ranking.com ranked Cosmoetica in the top half million literary websites.
Schneider and Cosmoetica has been cited in a number of academic and related books including The Creative Writing MfA Handbook,Contemporary Fiction: The Novel Since 1990, and a number of other books including Best of the Web 2009.
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."
In late 2006 Schneider further expanded his website to include an all film subsite called Cinemension. Schneider has published his film reviews in a number of online publications. His reviews are also aggregated on Rotten Tomatoes.