…Straight Up

The agenda is just what it says: news of arts, media & culture delivered with attitude. Or as Rock Hudson once said in a movie: "Man is the only animal clever enough to build the Empire State Building and stupid enough to jump off it." … [Read more...]

…Books ‘n’ Stuff

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I'm the author of several books, including A Talent for Trouble, the biography of Hollywood director William Wyler. Putnam published it in hardcover. It is now in paperback, from Da Capo Press. My portrait of Nelson Algren, Ticket to New Jersey, first published in a limited handmade edition by Cold Turkey Press, is now available as a trade paperback from Impromptu Editions. My theater criticism, published in two volumes, is also available: Second Nights (Vol.1) and Second Nights (Vol. 2). I am also the co-author of the experimental … [Read more...]

…My Checkered Career

I've been the senior editor/producer for Entertainment & Arts at MSNBC.com, a staff writer covering arts and culture at the Los Angeles Times, a reporter and movie reviewer at The Daily News in New York, a reporter and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, and a fellow in the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University. … [Read more...]

…Jan Herman

Jan Herman

When not listening to Bach or Bill Evans, I like to play jazz piano -- but only in the privacy of my own mind. My correspondence with writers and poets of the Beat, post-Beat and Fluxus periods, along with other literary artifacts, was acquired by Northwestern University Library. In case you’re interested, the collection is described in the library’s cleverly named Jan Herman Archive.# My literary taste in fiction writers runs to Joseph Conrad, William S. Burroughs, Nelson Algren, Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, and John Le Carre. As a … [Read more...]