Stanza Stones by Simon Armitage
The newly drawn Stanza Stones Trail runs through forty-seven miles of the Pennine region, some of the most strikingly varied landscape in the world. The terrain bears the deep scars of industrial exploitation, as well as those less obvious: the signs left by a hundred local generations are carved into the region's abounding rocks. Simon Armitage was born and raised here, in the village of Marsden, and in 2012 he was commissioned through the Ilkley Literature Festival to write site-specific poetry. Armitage composed six new poems on his Pennine walks and, with the help of local expert Tom Lonsdale and letter-carver Pip Hall, found extraordinary, secluded sites and saw his words carved into stone. This book is a record of that journey, containing the poems and the accounts of Lonsdale and Hall. The many layers of stone and sediment found beneath the surface of the rock reflect the drama of the landscape itself. Covered in decades of industrial soot and grime, the colours released by the carver's tools will likely never return to shades of black and grey, but become a small reminder of the changes that our natural environment undergoes, and the marks, small and large, of humankind.