Find all the latest Stanza Stones news below. We’ve kept all our news items from as far back as October 2010, scroll to the bottom of the page and read through to see how the project has progressed!
30 July 2012 – Celebrate the Opening of the Olympics: Dew is back in place!!!
We are very pleased to announce that, just in time for the Olympics, Dew is back in place.
14 July 2012 – Poems from the Pennines
BBC Radio 4 broadcast a special Stanza Stones documentary about the whole project on Saturday.
Check the BBC website for when itis repeated.
30 June 2012 – Poetry Parnassus
To celebrate the end of the Stanza Stones project young people from Ilkley Young Writers and Calderdale Young Writers made a trip to London to visit the Poetry Parnassus – the UK’s largest gathering of poets from across the world for the Lodon 2012 Festival. The young people took part in everything from edible poetry workshops, poetry treaure hunts, were prescribed an emergency poem and listened to inspiring poets on the theme of resistance.
You can find photos from the day on our Young People’s Facebook page.
18 June 2012 – Stone Carving Masterclass
Pip Hall, stone carver for Stanza Stones, ran a fanastic workshop in Ilkley on Saturday 16 June. You can see photos from the masterclass on our Facebook page.
31 May 2012 – Walk to the Festival
Each month we are encouraging you to go on one of the walks along the Stanza Stones Poetry Trail and visit each of the individual Stones in turn. We suggest you start in Marsden and finish in Ilkley, just in time for the Festival.
Share your journey and capture the magic that happens when you see the Stones for the first time. Write a poem or a series of poems along the way…. like Simon Armitage did… and upload your photographs, poems and experiences to our Stanza Stones Facebook Page and post them on Twitter.
Don’t forget to use #walktothefestival on all of your tweets!
26 May 2012 – Stanza Stones featured in the Guardian Travel
If you missed the Guardian’s feature on Stanza Stones you can still read it online here: Written in Stone
You can find more great photos from our Oxenhope event on Saturday 19th May at our facebook page, just follow this link.
Thank you to everyone who braved the cold and the mud to enjoy wonderful performances by Northern School of Contemporary Dance, the Writing Squad, Tadeeb International New Writers, Simon Armitage and film by Leeds College of Art and Leeds Trinity University.
“I was very proud to be part of it!” – Ayesha
“Very moving” “Brilliant event”
14 May 2012 -Ceremonial Opening of the Stanza Stones Poetry Trail
With Simon Armitage and Calderdale Young Writers, filmed and shown later that evening at our opening event in Marsden Mechanics Hall on Saturday 12th May. You can watch it here…
4 May 2012 – The Beck Stone is Completed!
1 May 2012 – BBC Look North
If you missed BBC Look North last night here is a link to the fantastaic piece by Olivia Richwald. A great overview of the Stanza Stones project: BBC Look North Stanza Stones
Simon Armitage, letter carver Pip Hall, Ilkley Literature Festival director Rachel Feldberg, Stanza Stones Project Manager Glenis Burgess, Landscape Architect Consultant Tom Lonsdale and members of the Friends of Ilkley Moor were all on hand on Rombalds Moor to oversee the installation of the Puddle Stones on a cold, misty morning recently. The stones were carefully lowered into position guided by Simon and two very helpful and experienced moorland landscape experts watched by Look North, imove’s video team and our own student film crew Russell and Joe who had been on the moor since 8am!
The two Puddle Stones started life as flags for mill stone floors and have come back to Yorkshire as part of a Bradford Council scheme to protect the fragile peat bog on Rombalds Moor and it was powerful moment to see the stones back on the moors where they belong after a hundred years or more. The minute they were in place, people out walking their dogs came to look and to read the poem.
17 March 2012 – Fantastic Young People’s Event
On Saturday 17 March nearly 50 young people came together at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds to show each other what they have been working on for Stanza Stones. There has been so much fantastic work produced that it took 3 hours to see and enjoy it all! Inspired by the young writers groups’ poetry the work included incredible dance pieces by Northern School of Contemporary Dance, some beautiful animated film by students of Leeds College of Art, an accomplished and haunting film piece by Mediafish and dramatic and professional standard performances of the poetry which inspired them from our young writers groups. Some of the young writers taking part only recently joined Ilkley Young Writers, but jumped straight in and performedfor the first time. For your chance to see the work at a location near you book your tickets for our Stanza Stones performances online here.
Sam Fletcher, one of our Ilkley Young Writers has written a great blog entry about the day, you can read it here.
Head to the main Stanza Stones page to see The Story So Far, an inspiring short film put together by our film makers Russell and Joe – it is a great insight in to what the young people have been working on for Stanza Stones. Watch it here.
The third stone at Cow’s Mouth Quarry is just the place for a bracing Winter walk. It’s a level fifteen minutes or so through a gate and along a gravelled track (part of the Pennine Way) which starts beside the White House pub, which lies on the A58 from Littleborough to Hebden Bridge. While Pip was carving, walkers, climbers and whole families pushing buggies and riding tricycles went past.
We’d love you to make time to go and see it during the holiday season - do email to let us know what you think.
It’s a great spot for climbers too and we’re grateful to members of the British Mountaineering Council and the BMC Access Officer who helped us identify a suitable face for the carving.
The second stone, on Nab Hill near Oxenhope is finished! After weeks of carving in torrential rain and stormy wind Pip Hall has completed the second, atmospheric stone and it’s ready for visitors.
Last weekend young people from Calderdale Young Writers visited the first stone, on Pule Hill near Marsden, with their film group partners. The carving is already looking as if it had been there for years and after just four months is very popular with other visitors. The group leaders met a number of walkers at the site who told them they had come up specially to find the stone and read the poem.
It’s well worth a visit if you are over that way.
6 October 2011 – Stanza Stones on The Culture Show
On the eve of National Poetry Day 2011, Simon Armitage appeared on BBC Two’s The Culture Show to introduce Stanza Stones.
You can catch it here if you missed it!
1 September 2011 – Temporary Handover of Land
The Festival Director was delighted to have the unusual task of taking temporary ‘handover’ of a small piece of Pennine upland, lying between Haworth and Hebden Bridge, from United Utilities, who have kindly given permission for the carving of the second stone. We met with United Utilities’ representatives high above a sparkling reservoir on a perfect late Summer day to sign the forms which will enable work to take place during September.
Of course each site requires extensive permissions and consents from the landowners and statutory bodies involved before any work can take place, but we seldom get to sign off the paperwork in such beautiful surroundings! We are very grateful to all the private landowners, utilities companies and local authorities, and to English Heritage, Natural England and the National Trust who have been working so tirelessly with us to make the project possible.
21 July 2011 – Stanza Stones on BBC Look North
Did you see the Stanza Stones feature on BBC Look North last night? If you missed it, head to the BBC website to watch now!
The first of seven specially engraved ‘Stanza Stones’ has been completed on Pule Hill, above Marsden.
Rachel Feldberg, Ilkley Literature Festival’s Director said “The whole team’s really excited to see the first poem finished. It’s an incredibly evocative piece and looks fantastic cut into the stone. We’re extremely grateful to the National Trust who gave permission for the Pule Hill site and have been so positive about the project. This first stone is already attracting lots of attention from local walkers and climbers, one man even dropped in after seeing it from the air while para-gliding over the area. We hope lots of people will be inspired to go and find these unique poems as they appear across the Pennines over the next 11 months. And we’re longing to hear your responses via our website and facebook pages.”
Have you seen the Stanza Stone on Pule Hill? Do contact us to let us know what you think.
31 May 2011 – Starting the First Stone
On 10 June Pip Hall will start to carve the first poem into the first stone.
There have been lengthy discussions between Pip, Simon, Tom (our landscape architecture consultant) and Rachel Feldberg (Festival Director) about the kind of lettering and font which would work best with the poem and the landscape. Pip has created a special hand drawn variant on an exisiting font for the project and has been on site with Tom and Simon, laying it out on the stones where it will be carved. With all in the final stages of being agreed, the first cut is about to be made.
18 May 2011 – Masterclasses Complete
All the young writers groups have now been out on the moors and completed their outdoor masterclasses with Simon Armitage. Despite some inevitable wind and rain on the Pennine Watershed the masterclasses were a great success for everyone involved.
Students from Leeds College of Art and group leaders filmed and photographed the masterclasses and some of those photos and videos will be uploaded to this website shortly. A reporter from Look North also came to the masterclass in Marsden and filmed and interviewed both Simon and some of the young people. The BBC is hoping to make a documentary about the Stanza Stones project which will be shown at the end of the project.
11 May 2011 – Pip Hall visits Marshalls
Pip, our stone artist, has been on a visit to Marshalls the quarry firm in Elland, who will be supplying some of the stones and resources. We met Nigel Davies, who kindly showed us round their enormous quarry an d the amazing cutting and sand-blasting equipment they use and the very detailed and elegant work they can do. Pip was able to look at some fantastic pieces of local stone and came away very inspired.
18 March 2011 – Simon Armitage on BBC Radio 4
Simon Armitage recently joined Stuart Maconie on BBC Radio 4′s ‘Ramblings’ to discuss the Pennine landscape. Listen Again Now
24 February 2011 – Poems Update
Simon has been working hard on the poems themselves over the last few months and Tom and Simon have made a number of trips to the Pennine Watershed to scout out possible locations.
Meanwhile the first masterclass with Simon and two groups of young people – The Writing Squad and Tadeeb International New Writers – took place a couple of weekends ago in Bradford and was a great success. We’re now gearing up for first meeting between Leeds Young Authors and the Lit Fest’s own young writers group, based in Ilkley but involving young people from up and down the Wharfe Valley.
18 January 2011 – Meet the Team
We’ve just announced the names of two key members joining the project team. Tom Lonsdale, of Placecraft, will be the project’s Landscape Architect Consultant. He’ll be working with Simon to identify sites for the Stanza Stones and deal with all the practicalities, while Glenis Burgess has just been appointed as our Project Manager. Glenis will be working with us from now until June 2012.
We can also reveal that the six groups of young writers working on the project will be:
Leeds Young Authors
Ilkley Literature Festival Young Writers
Tadeeb International New Writers, based in Bradford
The Writing Squad
Sheffield Young Writers
Calderdale Young Writers, based in Hebden Bridge
They’ll be undertaking a whole series of workshops and master classes with Simon and creating their own work aspart of the engagement strand of the project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
12th November 2010 – Young Writers
Our young writers group has been meeting every Monday for the last four weeks and is already doing some really exciting work (and having a lot of fun). There’s still room for a couple more members so if you know a young writer (aged 13-18) who might like to be involved and is able to get to Ilkley for 6.30pm on a Monday evening just contact us.
5th November 2010 – Initial Meetings
Had a really good meeting with Simon going over some of the project ideas and refining the timetable. We’re both keen to get started now.
Ilkley Literature Festival is delighted to announce that the first tranche of Legacy Trust UK funding has been agreed for Stanza Stones, an imaginative 21 month project in collaboration with leading poet, Simon Armitage.
The Stanza Stones project, which was officially launched at the Festival on 9 October and will run until June 2012, is part of the imove programme which celebrates and challenges the relationship between people and their moving bodies through a series of exciting and innovative arts project across Yorkshire. Inspired by London 2012, imove is funded by Legacy Trust UK, Yorkshire Forward and Arts Council England.
The project will centre on a new poem specially written by Simon Armitage and inspired by his response to the wild landscape of the Pennine Watershed and the relationship between the landscape and language of Yorkshire. This poem will act as a springboard for groups of young writers aged from 13-25 years from both rural areas and the cities of West, South and North Yorkshire. The students will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to undergo master classes with Armitage, create their own work and meet up and experience the outdoors as a group. Later stages of the project will offer young dancers and film makers the opportunity to interpret the poems through their own medium and will see Armitage’s poem inscribed on a series of Stanza Stones, forming a permanent trail across the Watershed which runs from the Festival’s base in Ilkley to Armitage’s home town, Marsden.
The creation and installation of the Stanza Stones themselves is supported by funding is being made available through the South Pennines LEADER programme (Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Yorkshire Forward in the Yorkshire and Humber region and Pennine Prospects.
Festival Director Rachel Feldberg commented: “We are thrilled that this project has awarded funding as part of the imove programme. It’s an opportunity to work closely with one of the UK’s most important and inspiring poets, a huge boost for all young people who love writing and a tribute to the development work we, and our partner organisations, have been doing with teenagers. Simon is passionate about the connection between the landscape and language of Yorkshire and he feels strongly that writing is one of the most accessible art forms, all you need is time and opportunity and something to write with.
Tessa Gordziejko, Creative Programmer for London 2012 and Creative Director for imove said, “We are very excited that this project with Simon Armitage will form part of the imove programme, which is about transforming our relationship with our moving bodies, using the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a driver. Yorkshire writers past and present have a special relationship with the Pennine landscape and have expressed through words the physical experience of being a part of it. Working with the Ilkley Literature Festival, imove is delighted to commission a stellar Yorkshire writer to inspire young people in creating a legacy which will be both an ongoing experience and a lasting part of our landscape and heritage for generations to come.”
We got the project off to a flying start at the Festival in October with a strand celebrating ‘Words, Land and Landscape’ which included events with archaeologist Francis Pryor and geologist Richard Fortey and a taster session for teenagers interested in being involved in Stanza Stones via a new weekly group for young writers.
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Stanza Stones is a collaboration between imove, Ilkley Literature Festival, Simon Armitage and Pennine Prospects.
imove has been primarily funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. imove is also funded by Arts Council England. www.imoveand.com