Gate Posts With No Gate: Peter Waldor Teams Up with Visual Artists for Imaginative, Powerful Book of Poetry

Peter Waldor

It’s no secret that poets have been vastly inspired by not only the visuals of everyday life but visual art in and of itself. From Homer to the modernists to our contemporaries, the written word has been used to romanticize everything from the smallest of senses to the greatest of momentous events. Esteemed writer and poet Peter Waldor recently released his new book of poetry Gate Posts With No Gate, but before bringing his words to the limelight, he decided on accompanying his work with the work of others. Collaborating with a handful of talented visual artists, the book is filled with profound poetry, many accompanied with a painting or image that not only enhances the poem itself but provides an entirely new dimension to the work. 

Gate Posts With No Gate poses itself as a set of instructions to an imaginary painter on creating a very particular painting of millipede legs. Although Waldor’sidea for the book has evolved over15 years, other artists are now involved and the book works well as a “prayer for peace” through art and the written word. 

Waldor was introduced to the 14 artists that helped on the project through his publisher, drawing inspiration from their own personal art and sharing his writing for inspiration of their own. This collection differs a bit from Waldor’s previous works not only in subject matter but the litany of instructions and interactivity in the detailed prompts. Waldor explains, “Interactive, in the sense that the ‘instructions’ are full of many prompts. For example, how to hold the brush, how to breath, how quickly to draw the brush across the canvas. I did not expect these instructions to be taken literally, but to, hopefully, act as touchstones to take the artists to a different place they could not have arrived at without the poems.”

As for the artists, JustLuxe was able to talk to some of them about their role in the process. 

Rae Broyles considers herself a visual poet. She explains, “Poetry plays a very important role in my work. It is a key source of inspiration. I use poems as both a jumping off point as well as a way to title my pieces at the end. This project really appealed to me for this reason. But when I saw Gate Posts for the first time, I was truly amazed at how in touch with the artist's mind Peter must be. This book was like a virtual book of inspirations waiting to be painted. I can turn to it again and again if I feel stuck or have an artist’s block!”

For Broyles, she found many favorite poems within the book, including 'Paint the Legs' which really spoke to her. “It tied together the idea of feelings, images and materials. This is a wonderful place to start for an abstract work. Sometimes for a visual person like myself, poetry can simply relay an emotion rather than a concrete idea. These poems are especially helpful. In poem #31 Peter creates an immediate atmosphere by describing ‘two boys in the forest with a specimen jar.’”

Since the book’s publication, Broyles has continued to be inspired by poetry and fuse it with her visual pieces. In the future, she plans to create a visual realization of a Haiku.

You can find out more about the unique project and snag a copy for your own bookshelf at

Carly Zinderman

Carly Zinderman is a Senior Staff Writer for JustLuxe, based just outside of Los Angeles, CA. Since graduating from Occidental College with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies, she has written on a variety of topics for books, magazines and online publications, but loves fashion and style best. In her spare time, when she?s not writing, Carly enjoys watching old movies, reading an...(Read More)

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