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PopImpressKA Journal | Events, Charities, Art, Fashion, Movies

PopImpressKA Journal: Frank Hazard - Author of Escape from Phalaris and more

PopImpressKA Journal: Frank Hazard - Author of Escape from Phalaris and more

About the author:

Frank Hazard is the author of ESCAPE FROM PHALARIS, an innovative study of art and creative endeavor, and SOW BELLY AND THE STRANGER, an illustrated children’s book. He was born on Sea Island, Georgia and raised in New Haven, Connecticut where his father was a member of the Athletic Staff at Yale University. An autodidact, he began to read widely at an early age. He has been a staff writer for various magazines and for many years he was a drama critic in New York City. Mr. Hazard has also been a literary critic and a general assignment reporter. Presently he lives in New York City with his wife Nancy Lee, who has provided the illustrations for his latest book, SOW BELLY AND THE THIEF.



The title as well as the thematic impetus of ESCAPE FROM PHALARIS are derived from the legend of Perilaus and Phalaris as related by the ancient Greek satirist Lucian. Perilaus, a gifted sculptor, created for Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum, an ornate bronze bull reputed to be a magnificent work of art, into which was carved a secret chamber in which the tyrant imprisoned hapless victims. And victims, when flames were ignited underneath the statue, inside were roasted to death as their shrieks of agony were transformed into dulcet music through ancillary pipes attached to the beautiful statue. The first victim whom the tyrant, Phalaris, tortured was Perilaus, the artist. ESCAPE FROM PHALARIS comprises a deft and original concept of art and creative impulse, examining (among other eminent themes) the necessity of the solitary artist to transcend minatory environmental inhibitions—to escape, as it were, from Phalaris—that impede or negate his own profound freedom and purpose affirmed in the distant chance of artistic achievement. The book is divided into three parts. Part One comprises twenty sections of varied length including meditations, a dialogue, and analysis, and establishes essential questions and themes addressed and elaborated and fulfilled in the ensuing narrative. (For instance: the dialogue in Section 12 is a complete autonomous statement in itself, but it is also continued and developed in Part Three—Section 7, which is also a complete and autonomous statement in itself.) Themes addressed in Part One include the fundamental—and questionable—validity of critical analysis of art, and evaluations of time, history, authenticity and inauthenticity, science, aesthetic choice and compulsion, elaborated both analytically and among vivid poetic impressions that establish mood and raise questions and ideas and themes which, again, the overall narrative fulfills. Part Two consists of fourteen sections and it comprises a bridge (mostly but not exclusively analytic) that unites Part One and Part Three, although Part Two also is of course an autonomous independent statement of its own unified by themes including evaluations of aesthetic consciousness, intrepid analyses of journalistic and pedagogical criticism of art, a description of the Perilaus-Phalaris story from which the title of the book is derived, and the ardent spiritual and psychological processes out of which a solitary creator devises his art. Part Three comprises seventeen sections of varied length including meditations, a dialogue and analysis, addressing themes and questions and ideas previously approached and now conclusively and altogether fulfilled in the comprehensive pattern of the narrative. The dialogue in Section 7 is a continuation of the dialogue in Section 12 of Part One. Analysis, poetic impressions and dialogue unite to achieve a vigorous and comprehensive portrait and expostulatory vindication of aesthetic passion, struggle, individuality, compulsion and (solitary) aesthetic consciousness. Each section of every part is autonomous and can be read separately from the others but each section of every part is also absorbed by and unified within the comprehensive thematic pattern of the narrative whole. The reader section by section is drawn irresistibly into the narrative web and participates in the solitary agony and exultation of creative endeavor and the pain and peril and the affirmation of aesthetic deliberation and achievement. ESCAPE FROM PHALARIS comprises a provocative argument and ideas, vivid meditations and artistic impressions, two dialogues, and analyses, but it is also a suspenseful experience more thrilling and edifying than any similar tractual or fictive exposition could ever attain to be.

About Frank's book "From Calypso’s Island" :

From ancient Rome to modern New York, from a funeral to a supermarket, from a raucous society of apes to a somber college campus, From Calypso’s Island comprises a bountiful assortment of scenes, characters, and situations that range from the poignant to the profane, from the exotic to the familiar, and from the epic to the intimate. This unique collection features poems and plays, stories, a fond appreciation of the James Bond novels of Ian Fleming, and initial chapters of an epic murder mystery set in ancient Rome early in the fourth century (AD) during the reign of Diocletian. A college freshman acridly experiences remorse at the start of his Christmas vacation, a man and a woman fortuitously meet in a crowded tavern on a rainy afternoon and consider the possibility of a romantic liaison, Pygmalion entreats the gods to endow his beloved Galatea with life, three women contentiously attend the funeral of a man to whom each had been previously married, a young army recruit suspects his estranged wife of marital infidelity. Enhanced by language with the crisp lyricism of music, From Calypso’s Island is a peerless achievement, an inimitable collection—drama, satire, romance—that explores and celebrates the human condition in all its spectacular tentacular facets of joy, melancholy, poignancy, farce, and relentless grandeur.


Frank Hazard also is the author of The Fatal Heist, a philosophical crime thriller; three fabulist satires, Sow Belly and the Stranger, Sow Belly and the Thief, and Sow Belly and the Theater; and Escape from Phalaris, an innovative exposition of art and creative endeavor. 


THE FATAL HEIST is a unique crime thriller as deftly plotted as it is tough, philosophically trenchant and suspenseful. Wolf, a professional thief, survives a violent police raid on an apartment where he and his colleagues, all criminals, have gathered to divide the money acquired during a bank robbery on the previous day. All of his colleagues are killed. Another colleague and thief, Duster, has appropriated the money in association with a corrupt police officer named Keyes. Wolf seeks refuge in the apartment of his lover Rita, a disbarred lawyer, but he flees the apartment when several men arrive to murder him. As he eludes police and sinister criminals who intend to kill him, Wolf undertakes a desperate search for the stolen money and his dangerous quest involves beautiful women and dishonest cops, prostitutes, gangsters and dissolute thieves. There are vivid gun battles and relentless action sequences but there are also philosophical reflections that distinguish THE FATAL HEIST as a superior entertainment that will appeal to general audiences as much as it will challenge and fascinate the most fastidious readers.


About Frank's books “Sow Belly” series:

In the third adventure of Frank Hazard’s fabulist “Sow Belly” series, Herb the Worm is determined to discover why rehearsals for a play at the Live Stock Company have been sabotaged. He seeks out Sow Belly to help him investigate the crime and with the assistance of other earnest farm-animal friends Herb and Sow Belly resolve to unravel the riddle and to make sure that the play Hedda Gobbler will premier as scheduled in only a few hours. They race against time and they don’t have many clues to guide their quest. As suspensefully crafted as its predecessors in the “Sow Belly” series, SOW BELLY AND THE THEATER comprises an adroit blend of satire and mystery, humor and adventure, with vivid illustrations and an eccentric array of poignant and sinister farm-yard characters that will intrigue and irresistibly fascinate both children and adults. A fabulist journey, a fabulous experience.


Vividly illustrated and suspensefully crafted, SOW BELLY AND THE STRANGER is a story both whimsical and serious, an adroit blend of mystery and adventure, with a festive variety of poignant, arresting and eccentric farm-yard characters. SOW BELLY, an affable pig, is woken early one morning by BATTY THE BAT, who has been frightened by the sight of a mysterious stranger encountered in the orchard near the farm where they live. The stranger, Batty informs her, looks like a man but isn’t a man, and Sow Belly decides to investigate. She seeks help from BASIL THE ROOSTER, but Basil is a narcissistic fop who spends most of his time staring at his reflection in a mirror, and he refuses to accompany her to the orchard. GRIZZLE, a disgruntled rat, also refuses to help; but he affirms that he encountered the stranger – who looks like a man yet isn’t a man – earlier that morning. When Sow Belly asks HERMA, a nervous hen, about the stranger Herma runs away frightened and alarmed. Next, Sow Belly visits her husband, BOAR BELLY, at his office in the pig-sty where he edits The Daily Fodder, the farm newspaper. He pays little attention to his wife and even doubts that the stranger really exists. And finally, arrogantly he advises her to investigate the situation herself, alone, if she is so inclined. Sow Belly next encounters DEBBIE THE DUCK, who has heard about the stranger and, eager for adventure, asks to accompany Sow Belly to the orchard on her formidable search. The two friends commence their intrepid journey and along the way come across GAYE, a friendly cow, and HERB THE WORM, both of whom agree to join the investigation, and the group anxiously proceeds across the meadow to the orchard where the stranger is supposed to be hiding. They are frightened, in the orchard, when they observe a spooky pair of eyes watching them among the branches of an apple tree, and a peculiar furry hand – which also resembles an animal’s paw – soon appears. An unusual face, in which the features of a man and those of a beast are mingled, pokes out among the leaves. Sow Belly assures the creature that he is not in any danger and she encourages him to climb down from the tree and make friends with them. The story continues as Sow Belly and her companions earnestly comfort this strange “creature”—who is lost—and they help their new friend to find a way back home. Additional characters include BRAINY HARE THE RABBIT; a bug named MR. FLYSPECK; and CLODHOPPER THE HORSE. As uniquely winsome as it is instructive, SOW BELLY AND THE STRANGER will enchant, intrigue and entertain adults as well as children of many different ages, with equal delight.

As far as SOW BELLY AND THE THIEF it is as suspensefully crafted and vividly illustrated as its whimsical predecessor, SOW BELLY AND THE STRANGER, an adroit blend of humor, mystery and adventure, with a poignant variety of unique and eccentric farm-yard characters. SOW BELLY AND THE THIEF comprises an exciting tale of search and rescue, of charity and courage and co-operation as Sow Belly, an affable pig, undertakes a mission with her farm-animal friends to locate the source of a mysterious “voice” that desperately pleads for help in a nearby forest, and Sow Belly and her friends resolve to save a fellow creature from terrible danger. As inspiring as it is enchanting, SOW BELLY AND THE THIEF will intrigue, mesmerize and entertain children of many different ages and even adults, with irresistible wonder and delight.


What a dilemma! War is declared and the farm animals confront its ineludible threat, in the fourth adventure of Frank Hazard’s fabulist “Sow Belly” series, and Sow Belly and Herb the Worm undertake a dangerous mission to rescue a hapless friend, Michael the Frog, who has been captured by their adversaries. The Farm Yard Force, a militia, has been organized to halt the predatory invasion of a belligerent army that includes a nefarious spider, a two-headed snake and a spiteful wolf commanded by an ambiguous Presence—a Voice—that hypnotically mesmerizes them and induces their unconditional obedience. The threat of a battle looms and the Farm Yard Force is on the march. Vividly illustrated and suspensefully crafted, with an exotic variety of sinister, audacious and eccentric farm animal characters SOW BELLY AND THE WAR deftly combines humor, mystery and adventure in a vibrant narrative that will fascinate children and unforgettably intrigue adults. What a journey!


Frank Hazard relentlessly disregards political correctness in Standard of Conduct, a trenchant satire and hilarious comedy that depicts a day in the life of what the author calls an Ivy League dunce. The brisk narrative follows an Ivy League dunce and businessman named Walsh as he proceeds from his New York City apartment in the morning to his office downtown in the financial district to a meeting hours later with another businessman for lunch at a private club and, ultimately, to a prestigious clothing store, where he intends to buy an expensive red silk robe that raffishly allures him. There are shrewd, perceptive vignettes comprising an irresistible panoply of unique characters that include Walsh and his intellectually fastidious secretary, a former ballerina, and her fiancé, a forlorn artist whose career has perilously stalled; a young woman who toils in a real estate office as she indefatigably dreams of becoming a novelist; supercilious diplomats and diffident poets, indignant critics and deceitful lawyers; plutocrats and pedagogues and publishers, and two vainglorious groups called SOMPs and VOBs—delineated with acute, wry humor and keenly incisive wit. Deftly enhanced by vigorous, eloquent, and inventive language as lyrical as music, Standard of Conduct is a hilarious literary satire and superior entertainment as topical as it is timeless.

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