Next Retreat: 2023

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  • Monolithos Village, photo by Maria Bakari

    Be Inspired.

    Over five days in the quiet and rustic village of Monolithos, Greek-Australian poet Luka Lesson will employ 15 years of education and writing experience to facilitate a series of workshops that will uncover the oral traditions and history of the place his ancestors called home. This retreat is designed to inspire and amplify the voices of the new and experienced writers, in a naturally beautiful location, soaked in history.


    Aimed at all skill levels, the sessions will include visits to Ancient sites, a look into Homer's Odyssey and the historical context of spoken word poetry, one-on-one guidance, group writing sessions and performance workshops. The retreat will then culminate in a private showing of the participants' work in an Ancient space and supportive environment.


    This program is designed to allow for each participant to be inspired by the incredible surroundings, to be fully supported in expressing themselves, and to be celebrated as their individual skills and stories are revealed.


    The Rhodes Poetry Retreat package includes over 10 workshops with one of Australia's most experienced performance poets and facilitators, in one of the most beautiful and historically powerful places on earth: the Greek Islands.

  • People love the Rhodes Poetry Retreat.

    The Rhodes Poetry Retreat comes highly recommended from 100% of our previous participants.

    "I loved the authentic experience the retreat offered. It was wonderful to be away from urban life and tourist traps. The week was a blissful mixture of both rigorous writing and relaxation. I enjoyed being disciplined every day and writing at every turn and vista we were offered. This in turn gave me the intimacy I needed with Rhodes and my company of poets. It really felt like a 'retreat' and I hope it remains so.​"

    - Adelaide Friday, Byron Bay

    "I like the easy going atmosphere the retreat offered. There were ample time to observe, create and soak in. The retreat was meditative and highly peaceful experience for me. Also our mentor Luka was very humble and approachable. The retreat gave a homely vibe and the food was extremely delicious and stay was comfortable."

    - Subi Taba, India

    "Luka's easygoing personality combined with his poetic expertise made the workshops really enjoyable and creative. I have never written poetry outdoors in special places before, and discovered I loved getting away from my computer and going 'old school' with pen and paper. I felt really relaxed, recovered from the rigours of my Turkey trip, and wrote some great poetry. I made new friends too."

    - Lou Steer, Sydney.

    "It was a privilege to break bread, do life and WRITE POETRY in Monolithos. That was the highlight the village, the immersion in place-based writing/learning and of course Luka is the man!"

    - Zechariah Soakai, New Zealand


    "I have attended many poetry retreats in Greece. Luka's poetry retreat is, by far, the best. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Luka is an inspiring poet and teacher."

    - Lisa Jeffery, USA.


    "I never really considered myself a poet, having not written poetry since I was a child. Having shared a week with Luka and the crew, I have vowed to put my pen to page everyday because of how generative and wonderful this practice has been. I am brimming with inspiration, having been immersed in such an inclusive, gracious and awe-striking environment. If you're even tossing up whether to come along, prioritise this experience! It is impossible to quantify how much it has

    meant to me."

    - Babette Moules, Melbourne.

  • Luka Lesson

    The Facilitator

    Luka Lesson

    Luka Lesson is a spoken word and rap artist of Greek heritage from Australia. On his fathers' side, his Grandfather migrated to Australia from the island of Rhodes, in 1928. His Grandmother also migrated from the same island, but ten years later.

    Since discovering the power of storytelling through Hip-hop in his teenage years, Luka proceeded to both write rap music, as well as study Anthropology and Indigenous Studies at The University of Queensland. During these years Luka caught himself some early radio play on Triple J's Hip-hop Show, began to teach Hip-hop workshops in schools and busk on the streets of Brisbane on weekends for extra practice.

    Soon after completing his degree, Luka discovered Slam Poetry, moved to Melbourne and eventually won the Australian Poetry Slam, the Melbourne Poetry Slam and the Greens Poetry Slam between 2010 & 2011. After years of touring as a full-time poet, his love of history and culture, as well as his love of oral traditions lead him to understand the significance of poetry within his own culture and he began a process of reinvigorating mythological and philosophical texts and breathing new life into ancient stories. 

    From 2019 until 2024, Luka Lesson's poem 'May Your Pen Grace The Page' will form part of the Australian English curriculum under the subject: 'The Craft Of Writing'. Currently, Luka is working with Sydney Conservatorium composer James Humberstone on a Hip-Hop and poetry re-interpretation of the Homeric epic: "The Odyssey". In 2017, his research for this project took him to Athens, where he studied with experts on the details of Homeric history and The Odyssey itself.

    With 15 years of experience in teaching his craft in schools, universities and poetry events around the world, Luka hopes the Rhodes Poetry Retreat will become a regular way of not only supporting poets who wish to improve their craft but also of supporting the people of his grandfather's village of Monolithos who have been hit by Greece's economic crisis.

  • Rhodes Poetry Retreat Program


    Fly into Rhodes Airport and the local team will provide transfers to your accomodation in Monolithos village, Rhodes Island.



    Transfers will be from Rhodes Ferry at 2pm

    and Rhodes Airport at 3pm.

    Poets wanting to be picked up from Rhodes Town

    should make their way to the Rhodes Tourist

    Ferry Terminal at 2pm.


    Dinner to be served at 8pm in Monolithos



    Travel Information

    Rhodes Airport receives direct flights from most European capitals including London, Berlin and Rome. A direct flight from Athens International airport is inexpensive and only lasts 45 minutes.


    We prefer to fly Aegean airlines.







    Day 1

    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Workshop 1

    Introduction: The Role of the Poet & Why Are We Here?


    Workshop 2

    The Art of the 'Stream of Consciousness'



    Siesta or Swim


    Visit: Kimisala Necropolis


    Workshop 3

    Digging for Lyrical Fossils I


    Visit: Monolithos Castle


    Workshop 4

    Digging for Lyrical Fossils II




    Travel Information

    All meals and transfers provided

    Day 2


    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Workshop 5

    Modern Greek Poetry Traditions


    Workshop 6

    Homer and The Odyssey: Mythology or Metaphor?



    Siesta or Swim


    Visit & Solo Writing Time:

    Monolithos Mountain Walk



    Day 3


    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Workshop 7

    Structure vs Freedom


    Workshop 8

    "One-on-One Advice and Assistance"



    Siesta or Swim


    Visit & Solo Writing Time:

    Athenian Acropolis of Lindos



    Day 4



    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel



    Workshop 9

    "Critique Lovingly, Edit Ruthlessly"



    Workshop 10

    Memorisation Techniques




    Siesta or Swim



    Visit & Solo Writing Time:

    Local Monastery




    Day 5


    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Visit & Solo Writing Time:

    Ancient Kimisala Palace

    Local Chapel & Square


    Workshop 11

    Performance Techniques


    Workshop 12

    One-on-one Assistance II




    Workshop 13

    Final Performance Rehearsals


    Final Group Performance in Monolithos Village





    Final Transfers

    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    After breakfast the local team will provide transfers to Paradisi Airport or Rhodes Town centre, leaving at 12pm.


    There will be no other transfers available.


    Distance from Monolithos to Airport is 60 minutes,

    and to Rhodes town centre: 90 minutes