Visiting Instructor of Music
Academic Program Affiliation(s): First-Year Seminar, Music, Written Arts
Biography:Franz Nicolay is a musician and writer. In addition to records under his own name, he was a member of cabaret-punk orchestra World/Inferno Friendship Society, “world’s best bar band” The Hold Steady, and Balkan-jazz quartet Guignol; cofounded the composer-performer collective Anti-Social Music; was a touring member of agit-punks Against Me!; and recorded or performed with dozens of other acts. He studied music at New York University and writing at Columbia University (where he was awarded a Felipe P. de Alba Fellowship). He received fellowship residencies in composition at the Rensing Art Center and writing at the Ucross Foundation and Edward F. Albee Foundation, and he has taught at Columbia University and UC–Berkeley.
Nicolay's first book, The Humorless Ladies of Border Control: Touring the Punk Underground from Belgrade to Ulaanbaatar (The New Press, 2016), was named a “Season’s Best Travel Book” by the New York Times; and BuzzFeed called his novel Someone Should Pay for Your Pain (Gibson House, 2021) a “knockout fiction debut.” His writing has appeared in several anthologies and in publications including the New York Times, Slate, Paris Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Los Angeles Review of Books, Threepenny Review, LitHub, and Longreads.