Author. Poet. Doctor. Artist—In a chat with Lucas on his Artistry and everything in-between.

Bio: Lucas was born and raised in a Christian home with his three sisters in Nigeria. As a child, he developed a love for music and lyrical compositions—a habit he picked up watching his late father ceremoniously listen to Bob Marley and Fela Kuti. He has always wanted to be a medical doctor, following the footsteps of his mother who is his biggest source of inspiration. Only medicine rivaled his love for art, either in the form of poetry or fine art. After completing his medical degree, he began compiling his first collection of poems, and the result is ‘‘… Then I grew wings’’. Lucas has also displayed his artworks at several exhibitions.

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RLN: Who were your early influences that inspired you to write?

Lucas: I started writing at a very young age. My dad and I shared a love for music and brilliant compositions. We connected with Bob Marley’s music the most. My dad took the time to explain what the songs meant and how clever and important it is to rhyme words to create appealing sound, thus forging a good relationship with the listener. I paid attention to that and with time I started writing on my own because I wanted to connect with other people the way Marley did through his music. I stopped writing for a while because of personal reasons, but I always listened to music and paid attention to lyrical content. When my father passed away, I started writing again, this time with a purpose. I think I saw the world clearer after that trauma.

RLN: Which books have you read this year that left you wanting more?

Lucas: 1. Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib (The Crown Ain’t Worth Much) 2. Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib (They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us) 3. Ocean Vuong (Night Sky with Exit Wounds) 4. Ocean Vuong (On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous) 5. Robin Wasserman (Girls on Fire) 6. Fatimah Asghar (If They Come for Us: Poems) 7. Ilya Kaminsky (Deaf Republic) These are all amazing books with visceral impact for me.

RLN: Would you say your career as a medical doctor has influenced your writing?

Lucas: Absolutely, without a doubt. As a medical doctor, having a broad knowledge of human anatomy and physiology made imagery and metaphors a lot easier to construct when I write.

RLN: As an artist, does your artistry influence your writing, and how do you fuse this with your writing?

Lucas: I don’t know how to explain the way this works. I think poetry is like painting a picture with words, and I see the full picture in my head before I write about anything. How the beams of the two creative lanes overlap can’t be perfectly put in words, and I think that’s the beauty of it.

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RLN: What genre and themes do you write?

Lucas: Genre? I’ll say prose-poetry. I often write about love, relationship and the psychological burden of being who you are in a world that gives enough reasons to put on a mask and be someone else.

RLN: Your first collection of poems “Then I Grew Wings” was a fantastic debut collection. What inspired you to write the book, and where can readers buy it?

Lucas: My childhood, upbringing, and the people around me.

RLN: You have an upcoming collection of poems, “Atlas”. Can you tell us more about this collection and what you’re looking to achieve with this?

Lucas: My upcoming book titled Atlas is about my perspective on how places and people influence the way we approach every decision we make, our actions and our ideas.

RLN: What has been the major highlight of your literary journey?

Lucas: The most important highlight is the way my love for literature helped me find myself. The more I read and write, the more I understand the mystery of self and my limitless reach. Publishing my book and getting excellent reviews from people of different races was crucial for me. That validation was a boost. Knowing somehow through the platform of poetry, we have all found a common ground despite our differences. It also feels good to earn the respect of my peers in this craft.

RLN: As a writer and artist, what would you like to be remembered for

Lucas: This life is full of pain and confusion. I want to be remembered as a writer or an artist who helped lighten the load by making sense of the pain and by diluting the confusion until clarity is achieved. There are also beautiful moments that can be relieved through poetry, I want to capture those moments. I want to be remembered for being a great influencer who touched lives and helped people find their voices.

RLN: Any advice for upcoming artists and how they can funnel their creative energy to achieve outstanding results

Lucas: A creative person needs to find his/her own unique way of delivering a message. It’s okay to learn from the greats by studying their rise to prominence, but everyone’s journey is different. Don’t limit yourself to someone else’s understanding of the world, even if the person is like a monument or the gold standard of craftsmanship. Look within and find yourself. In failure, there’s always beauty in the attempts. Tell your truth without holding back, because even the deaf world recognises a unique sound.

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