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. Chief among them were William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Allen Ginsberg, Carl Weissner, Wolf Vostell, Norman O. Mustill, Mary Beach, Claude Pélieu, Ferlinghetti, Ed Sanders, Ferdinand Kriwet, and Dick Higgins. He was editor in chief of Something Else Press (1972-1974) and later worked as a feature writer for nearly 30 years 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. Literary articles of his have appeared in Partisan Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and The New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of A Talent for Trouble, the biography of the Hollywood director William Wyler, and 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.