Born in Philadelphia, the son of a Navy gunnery officer, grew up in Virginia, Key West, San Diego, and Daytona Beach. University of Florida at Gainesville, alternately an English major/Journalism major/English major, studying fiction with Smith Kirkpatrick and Harry Crews, poetry with Lawrence Hetrick. Summers, worked the cop beat and as a general assignment reporter under the tutelage of City Editor Charlie LaPoint at The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Moved to California, staff writer and editor at Rolling Stone in its last days in San Francisco. Worked as the all night man at an FM station. Was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford, studying under Donald Davie, taught as Jones Lecturer in Poetry the following year. Moved south to Los Angeles, worked in the music business in PR and as a club DJ, began to write screenplays and, in time, teach screenwriting.
Dan Vining continues to live in one version of LA.