WITH OVER A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE IN POETRY EDUCATION, LUKA LESSON HAS DESIGNED WORKSHOPS AND RESIDENCIES SPECIFICALLY SUITABLE FOR AUSTRALIAN & INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS.
PREVIOUS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL RESIDENCIES
AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS EXPERIENCE
Over the past 14 years, since 2006, Luka Lesson has conducted visits and residencies to over 300 schools, education centres, university campuses and private colleges in Australia - these visits range from one-hour performances, to month-long residencies. Starting with a Hip-hop song-writing workshop at Milpera State High School in 2006, through to month-long residencies at Xavier College Melbourne, week-long residencies at Roseville College, Sydney and language rejuvenation programs in Borroloola, NT. This experience includes working in Parkville Juvenile detention centre, as well as being included in the ‘Positive Schools’ conference tours across Australia - helping with the professional development of teachers nationwide.
From 2019 to 2024 Luka Lesson’s poem ‘May Your Pen Grace The Page’ will be included in the NSW year 12 English curriculum. Luka's poem 'Antidote' is also in use throughout official NSW Australian curriculums. Unofficially, teachers are employing Luka's work in classrooms throughout the country in English classrooms, but also in Drama, Music & Ancient History.
NEW ONLINE ENGAGEMENT OPTIONS
1. PERFORMANCE + Q&A - A 50 minute performance of Luka's most striking poems, insight into the writing process and the opportunity to ask Luka questions about poetry and performance.
2. WORKSHOPS - A range of 7 writers' workshops which can be adapted to become 30 - 60 minutes long. Each workshop will have students picking up their pens and creating a new poem from scratch.
3. MAY YOUR PEN GRACE THE PAGE - CURRICULUM POEM - A 50 minute presentation and Q&A based solely on Luka's poem 'May Your Pen Grace The Page' - a poem now included on the NSW Curriculum. This is an opportunity for students studying this poem to gain everything they need to enter their exams with confidence.
1. Diaspora - A look into the journeys of displacement shared by so many of us in today's world. What is home? How does one find their 'place in the world'? These questions are encountered in this workshop process.
2. Make Your Myth - A dive into Greek Mythology and the art of myth- making. A chance to rebuild your creation story from the ground up and redesign your personal history with nothing but the limits of your own imagination. Step into the hero's journey.
3. The 10 Line Formula - Ten prompts are given, one for each line, and in the end the writer discovers that to let go of control can be the most powerful way to write. Sometimes, we need to get ourselves out of the way, to create the truest forms of expression.
4. Portrait Poem - Based on Luka Lesson's 'Yiayia' poem about his grandmother, as well as his 'Macquarie' libretto about Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Writers are asked to either research a public figure, or record facts and quotes from a family member, before being lead through the creation of a poem based around their life story.
5. Social Issues Poetry - Writers are invited to discuss the power of art and poetry for social change before being lead through a process of choosing, researching and writing a poem based around a social issue. Both powerful facts and statistics are combined with metaphor, simile and other poetic devices to create an educational and emotionally engaging piece.
6. Stream of Consciousness - Writers are lead through a series of long form writing processes with the aim to create as much text as possible. They are then assisted in approaching the writing with an editor's eye and are able to create a poem with what has already been written. This releases need for 'perfection' from the outset and helps the writer to realise that sometimes our best work happens when least expected.
7. 'Found' Hybrid Poetry - Writers are invited to take words from other books, magazine or songs, before being lead through a process of incorporating those 'found' passages with their own writing. In this way they create something of a collage of words.
TESTIMONIALS REGARDING LUKA LESSON’S WORK
"Luka Lesson is one of those people who changes the weather; who by his very presence makes the landscape seem more possible, more holy, more livable. I don’t know where he came from or how he got to be so magic. What I do know is that I am better for having experienced him. A better writer. A wider girl. More true of heart. Words make worlds. Luka knows this. His mouth is a creation story...and we are all better for it."
- Dominique Christina, National Poetry Slam Champion
and two-time Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion (USA)
"I’m not really into hip hop—I’m too old, I guess—but Luka Lesson is a sonic literary genius, and THAT is what I love. So if he is hip hop, then I guess I love hip hop after all."
- Taylor Mali, 4-time National Poetry Slam Champion (USA)
"Luka is the kind of poet other poets want to be. Other poets want to be honest."
- Shane Koyczan
“Disengaged, disenfranchised, disheartened. These are the students who stunned us all with the power of poetry. It was my wish that Luka Lesson visit my school to increase student interest in poetry. I could never have imagined that in one week he could create a group of courageous young leaders who would stand and deliver words laden with truth, humour and desire. He graciously offered not only his talent, but his heart to young people on the verge of being lost.”
- Kylee Owens, Lead Teacher, Hastings Secondary College
"Luka is a genuine artist of high quality whose poetry is powerful and poignant. I salute his prophetic witness!"
- Dr Cornel West
“Luka Lesson is quickly becoming one of the most powerful artists of our medium. A rare writer that practices what he preaches and in turn passes that same integrity onto those he teaches and performs for. All comments about awesome word play and clever lines aside his work is most importantly simple, honest, rebellion. The stuff that all great art is made from. His poems are fistfights with history, the truthful telling of it, honest Hellenic hip hop anthems sung from between the parts of your textbooks your teachers warned you about. I am lucky to call him my ally, and my friend.”
- Ken Arkind, Minor Disturbance Youth Slam, Colorado