September 23-29, 2018

  • 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 12 years of 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 people who wish to experience the power of writing and performing a piece of art soaked in history.


    Aimed at all skill levels, the sessions will include visits to Ancient sites, a look into the historical context of spoken word poetry, one-on-one guidance, group writing sessions and solo performances. 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 storytellers, in one of the most beautiful places on earth: the Greek Islands.

  • 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, Great-grandfather and Great-uncle all migrated to Australia from the village of Monolithos on the island of Rhodes in 1938. His Grandmother Anastasia also migrated from Rhodes, but in 1948, and from the village of Paradisi, where the Rhodes Airport is today.


    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 Ancient texts and breathe new life into voices that are all but silent in today's world.


    Currently Luka is working with Sydney Conservatorium composer James Humberstone on a Hip-Hop and poetry re-interpretation of the Homeric epic: "The Odyssey" named Odysseus Live. This year, his research for this project will take him to Athens, where he will study with experts on the details of The Odyssey which he needs to complete this ambitious work.


    While is in Greece, Luka will conduct his first ever writers' retreat. With over 10 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 grandparents' village as they traverse the difficulties of rebuilding their lives from a devastating economic crisis.

  • Rhodes Poetry Retreat Program

    Day 1- Arrival - Sept 23

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


    Transfers will be from Rhodes Airport at 12pm and 6pm

    Dinner to be served at 9pm at the Monolithos Taverna


    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 2 - Sept 24

    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Workshop 1

    Introduction: The Role of the Poet


    Workshop 2

    The Art of Stream of Consciousness"





    Visit: Kimissala Necropolis


    Workshop 3

    Digging for Lyrical Fossils I


    Visit: Monolithos Castle


    Workshop 4

    Digging for Lyrical Fossils II


    Dinner at the Monolithos Village Panorama Restaurant


    Travel Information

    All meals and transfers provided

    Day 3 - Sept 25


    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Visit: Monolithos Mountain Walk





    Workshop 5

    Modern Greek Poetry Traditions


    Workshop 6

    Homer and The Odyssey: Mythology or Metaphor?


    Dinner at Monolithos Village Taverna

    Day 4 - Sept 26


    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Visit: Acropolis of Lindos





    Workshop 7

    Structure vs Freedom


    Workshop 8

    "One-on-One Advice and Assistance"


    Dinner at Monolithos Panorama Taverna

    Day 5 - Sept 27


    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Workshop 9

    "Critique Lovingly, Edit Ruthlessly"


    Workshop 10

    Memorisation Techniques





    Visit: Cooking Class




    Dinner at Monolithos Panorama Taverna.

    Day 6 - Sept 28


    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    Visit: Ancient Kimissala Palace


    Workshop 11

    Performance Technique


    Workshop 12

    One-on-one Assistance II





    Workshop 13

    Final Performance Rehearsals


    Final Group Performance in Monolithos Village


    Dinner at Monolithos Panorama Taverna.


    Day 7 - Departure - Sept 29

    Final Transfers

    Breakfast at Thomas Hotel


    After breakfast the local team will provide transfers to Paradisi Airport or Rhodes Town centre, leaving at these times:






    There will be no other transfers available.


    Distance from Monolithos to paradisi is 90 minutes,

    and to Rhodes town centre: 2hrs

    Retreat Costs and Options


    Option 1 - Single Room



    All Workshops and Sessions

    6 Nights Single Room Accommodation

    All Meals


    All Entry Fees to Ancient Sites

    Notebook + Writing Tools


    Cost - AU$2100


    Option 2 - Shared Room



    All Workshops and Sessions

    6 Nights Double Room Shared Accommodation

    All Meals


    All Entry Fees to Ancient Sites

    Notebook + Writing Tools


    Cost = AU$1750




    All costs are designed to give the participants the best value for money whilst still supporting the local economy and people of Monolithos, Rhodes Island, who are suffering the repercussions of the economic crisis.


    Flights to and from Rhodes Island are not included.