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While working at City Lights Books as the poet-publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti's assistant, Jan Herman founded Nova Broadcast Press and the little magazine San Francisco Earthquake (1967–1971), which published Beat, post-beat and Fluxus writers and artists. He was editor in chief of Something Else Press (1972–1974) and later covered the arts as a writer at three major metro dailies, the Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Daily News, and the Los Angeles Times, and as a senior editor at MSNBC.com. He is also the author of A Talent for Trouble, the biography of the Hollywood director William Wyler; the co-author with Weissner and Jürgen Ploog of Cut Up or Shut Up, a work of "cut-prose" fiction with an introduction by Burroughs; and Ticket to New Jersey, a portrait of Nelson Algren. He lives in New York City.