With two slam poetry championships, seven years of international touring, fourteen Writers Festivals, eleven years hosting workshops, two highly successful poetry books and two full length albums under his belt, Australia's Luka Lesson is known world-wide as a leading critical thinker, creative writer and cultural change maker.
Luka has written commissions and performed for the likes of The Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe (NYC), The National Gallery of Victoria (AUS), Trinity International Hip-hop Festival (USA), Greece’s pioneer hip-hop group 'Active Member', South Africa's 'OneBlood Festival' and China’s most celebrated living poet, Xi Chuan.
Fresh from hosting his first international writers' retreat in Greece, performing at Australia's festival favourite, Splendour in the Grass and currently touring his new collaboration with multi award-winning musician, Kahl Wallis (The Medics), Luka Lesson is set to launch his greatest project yet this month - Writers' Republic.
Writers' Republic is an all-encompassing platform providing opportunities to educate, enhance and empower writers, speakers and artists through the delivery and promotion of powerful projects and programs.
"Writers' Republic will be an agora (the Ancient Greek word for a public place of assembly) for poets and wordsmiths," says Luka, "A place for uniting and amplifying marginalised voices in both digital and physical worlds."
"In Plato's treatise, The Republic, it is noted that poets should be exiled from utopian society as their words bring upheaval, rousing emotions and destabilise the status quo.
"That's what we do. We are catalysts for change and Writers' Republic provides a powerful platform to help artists and audiences be that too."
Born in Brisbane to Greek parents, Luka draws much inspiration from his lineage of Greek story-tellers, activists, street artists and modern music makers and is committed to using the powerful medium of word and music to “reignite passion, understanding and awareness around cultural and racial issues.”
“We’re having a great resurgence in orating one’s own story to large crowds. However, where we used to be called story-tellers or bards and the venues amphitheaters, caves and under trees; we are now rappers, singers and slam poets and our venues big stages, bars and YouTube.
“It’s an exciting time to be a poet and hip-hop artist. We find voice again in oral traditions through these new mediums. And, it’s as important as ever to bring these issues into the mainstream conscience so we can break down cultural barriers for a more cohesive, inclusive world.”
Key projects and programs currently under the Writers' Republic wings:
- Luka Lesson's own writing and performances such as his Living Artefact Tour with multi award-winning musician, Kahl Wallis (The Medics);
- Professional development opportunities for poets including tour workshops and the highly successful annual Rhodes Poetry Retreat; and
- Major productions like Odysseus Live, Luka's most ambitious project yet - a reimagining of Homer's The Odyssey with classical composer James Humberstone and film artist Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore. Luka was recently in Athens studying the ancient text with scholars.