‘Howl 2020’ is a collaborative Internet found poem. Its creation, as part of an exploration into Covid lockdown writing, was co-ordinated by Prema Arasu. Arasu is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia and is active in promoting own voices and youth arts.
This poem was composed by a collective of digital workshop participants during the Propel Youth Arts WA KickstART festival, in a workshop held on the 26th May 2020. It is entirely a found-object piece, made from text copied from workshop participants’ emails and social media newsfeeds, and was put together on a shared online document as a collaborative exercise. The first line is taken from Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 poem ‘Howl’.
The purpose of this experiment was to challenge preconceptions of artistic originality, completeness, and single authorship. The activity was designed to synergise with the online platform after the festival was recalibrated to operate online, and I believe we produced something quite contemporary and thought-provoking.
Contributors: Prema Arasu, Anna Quercia-Thomas, Ashleigh Allen, Catherine Hall, Patrick Gunasekera, George Burton, Chris Arnold, Angela Italiano.
‘Howl’ image under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Sourced from wikimedia commons, creator username: Felttipmarker; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howl!Large.jpg