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Recently, UNIS Hanoi warmly welcomed the wonderful Australian Slam Poet, Luka Lesson. Luka is a 'conscious hip-hop artist', who won the famous Australian Poetry Slam in 2011, and since then has been publishing poetry albums, and travelling around the world; not only performing, but actively working with and inspiring youth to express themselves through the power of poetry.
On 22 October, Luca introduced himself in the theatre to all of HS, and parents who wished to come, with a series of slam poems. He then throughout the week practiced poetry workshops with some of the HS English classes. The workshops consisted of fill in the blank stanzas based on different subjects per class. The use of the fill in the blank style allowed us to be creative in our poetry without the hassle of creating an entire poem from scratch. He then helped build the confidence of students by making them perform their poem, no matter how good or bad they perceived it to be. He first made everyone walk around the room, saying it to themselves, and then he'd put someone on the spot, and everyone presented splendidly!
On Friday, the last day of Luca's UNIS stay – a poetry slam was held after school for anyone who wanted to perform their poems, whether it be a personal one, or the one created during workshops! It was a great crowd, with some powerful poems presented!
This inspired a new tradition of an Annual Poetry Slam. The next one will be held in a couple months and is open to any and all who wish to share a song, poem, or thought.
When Luka came to visit, his sense of the world and perspective motivated many passionate students to keep writing poetry. Luka's open personality allowed for a positive and safe space for students to be creative and use their voice to express themselves through their writing. It was overall an incredible and cherished experience.
By Alicia Knight and Solene Shelly