The Process & Bios
Notes on "My Unified Theory of Everything"
by Ron Kostar + Judith McNally
The poem was written by Judith McNally and the image was constructed
by Ron Kostar, both of Roosevelt, New Jersey.
The way I remember the process, Ron suggested a collaboration and would I be interested?
Then he chose a poem of mine and matched it with one of his collages. I didn't think the image
was a good match. Whereupon he emailed 41 other collages, and I chose the one I thought matched
best. We've collaborated before, with Ron reading one of his poems and myself on piano improvisation.
This is our first word/image collaboration, a happy two-way street.
In the old days, in other words ten years ago, when I used to get what I
thought was a good idea or if I wrote a poem or captured an image, I'd
get up from my chair and run upstairs and show it or tell it to somebody. But
those days are long gone. Now when my Muse strikes I sometimes go online and shoot
off an e-mail, many to my friend and fellow poet and collaborator Judith McNally.
In this instance, I shot off the image "Proud Bird " and Judith sent back
her wonderful poem "Everything..." , and the rest, as they say, is history. Or, come
to think of it, did the order of the transaction take place the other way around? I'm not
sure. Collaborating can be like cutting a log with one of those long old, two-person saws,
usually it's difficult to tell who leads and who follows.
Judith McNally, retired from teaching Creative Writing in the New York and Princeton areas,
has published a novel, Jigsaw (Macmillan, 1981) and is the recipient of a New Jersey State Council
on the Arts Prose Fellowship. Her first play, Birdland, about Charlie Parker, was optioned by the
New Federal Theatre, NYC. Her poems and short dialogues (micro-logues) have been published in
US1 Worksheets, and read widely in the New York and Princeton areas. Judith currently plays flute
for the Dance Improv Live! band. She resides in Roosevelt, NJ.
Ron Kostar lives in the historic WPA town of Roosevelt, NJ. He has been a professor
but now retires in the woods and plays the clarinet in The Hot Taters, a Dixieland band.
He reads and performs regularly and has published poems in several small magazines
including US 1, City Magazine, For Here or to Go, In the Mail, The Princeton Review and
The Kelsey Review, and he has shown his collages and other images in a number of
Group and Collaborative Art Shows.
back to the collaboration