Λουκάς Χαραλάμπου aka 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 study and teach Anthropology and indigenous Studies (Colonial History) - and record political rap songs which found him some early radio play of Triple J's Hip-hop Show.
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. Afters 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 will take him to Athens, where he will study with experts on the details of The Odyssey he needs to complete this work.
While he is in Greece, Luka will conduct his first ever writers' retreat, with 11 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 supporting the village of his grandparents as they traverse the difficult years of rebuilding from a devastating economic crisis.
Support for Luka Lesson
“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 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 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion (USA).
“Luka is the kind of poet other poets want to be. Other poets want to be honest.”
- Shane Koyczan, Candian Poetry Slam Champion