Stanza Stones was an imaginative collaboration between Simon Armitage and Ilkley Literature Festival, in association with imove, a Cultural Olympiad programme in Yorkshire.
The project which culminated in June 2012 saw Armitage write a set of poems inspired by the language and landscape of the Pennine Watershed, which were then carved onto stones across the upland by stone artist Pip Hall, forming a permanent ‘Poetry Trail’ from Armitage’s home town of Marsden to the Festival’s base in Ilkley.
Running alongside Simon’s work there was an exciting programme of engagement with six groups of young writers aged 12-26, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The groups, from both large cities and rural areas of Yorkshire, took part in a range of workshops including masterclasses with Simon Armitage on the Watershed itself, where the young people had a chance to experience and gain inspiration from the Pennine landscape.
During the winter of 2012 the young writers worked with groups of young dancers and film makers, who took their poems and interpreted them through their own artforms.