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Melvin Cooke  (Jamaica) delivered three poems which challenged notions of race, gender and terror.  Cooke told VA, "One [of my poems] 'Definition' speaks about how we define who is a terrorist and who is not."

He continued, "I also read one called 'Banana State' which is about complexion which is about the differences in the complexion of my mother and father and how that came to me as a child because I didn’t see them as different from each other until I saw someone react to them which took place in a market. [Which is] an experience that comes with a commercial transaction, which comes with food." 

Cooke finished his performance with the poem "Man with a Handbag" which reflected on his own experience carrying my wife’s handbag. The poem questions "gender roles and how a handbag is often a defining accessory for a woman but when a man carries it it is an undefined accessory for a man." (Jeanette Charles/Venezuela Analysis)
Melvin Cooke (Jamaica) delivered three poems which challenged notions of race, gender and terror. Cooke told VA, "One [of my poems] 'Definition' speaks about how we define who is a terrorist and who is not." He continued, "I also read one called 'Banana State' which is about complexion which is about the differences in the complexion of my mother and father and how that came to me as a child because I didn’t see them as different from each other until I saw someone react to them which took place in a market. [Which is] an experience that comes with a commercial transaction, which comes with food." Cooke finished his performance with the poem "Man with a Handbag" which reflected on his own experience carrying my wife’s handbag. The poem questions "gender roles and how a handbag is often a defining accessory for a woman but when a man carries it it is an undefined accessory for a man." (Jeanette Charles/Venezuela Analysis)