Kerry Hudson is in a classroom in Glasgow's Kelvin College, drinking a cup of tea after talking to a room full of people wanting to hear what she has to say.

Her memoir, 'Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns', was published in May 2019 and when we catch up, Kerry has been travelling around various libraries and colleges from areas featured in the book and beyond, including in Glasgow and Coatbridge.

"We had a really nice engaged crowd" she says. "What's been so nice is that the crowds for this have been so different from usual, like the ones in literary festivals, or events in bookshops. Everyone is really engaged, asking different questions.

"This was probably one of my favourites I've done all year, just people doing the work in the community that I'm talking about. So they totally get it."

Lowborn, which was described as 'one of the most important books of the year', tells a powerful, personal agenda-changing exploration of poverty in today’s Britain drawn directly from Aberdeen-born Kerry's own experience growing up in poverty in Britain, including stints in Coatbridge and Glasgow.

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Kerry Hudson is proudly working class but she was never proudly poor. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools and five secondaries, living in B&Bs and council flats. She scores eight out of ten on the Adverse Childhood Experiences measure of childhood trauma. Twenty years later, Kerry’s life is unrecognisable. She’s a prizewinning novelist who has travelled the world.

Lowborn is Kerry’s exploration of where she came from. Through her revisits of the towns in which she grew up in, she tries to try to discover what being poor really means in Britain today and whether anything has changed - and now, she is travelling around to find out what Lowborn has changed for those in similar situations.

"It's really weird, going back to these places, just as it was to do so in the book. Weird because of what I find and how different it is every time. Coatbridge was one of my happiest surprises, because returning back I just found all of this amazing grassroots community work going on, even though in many ways, Coatbridge is really struggling.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my old English teacher and telling her that I wrote a book" she laughs.

"But really, what a pleasure to get to go back to places that you've written about and you grew up in and to, to meet to meet people there, and talk to them about their experiences.

"The inscription in the book is 'for all of those that have lived this story too' - it's the story of all the girls who grew up with me in the 80s and the 90s, and those communities now and the amazing people who are holding those communities together even though there are massive holes in the social welfare."

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During Kerry's time in Glasgow Kelvin College, she talks about the poverty that she endured in her childhood and its reflections on her life today. The talks turn, inevitably, into discussion about dialogue around poverty, and the act of telling stories.

"I think it's really powerful to have stories of lived experience" she says.

"For way too long, the people who got to tell these stories are those with privilege and the ability to have access to tell the stories. Now, we are seeing this whole wave of people being able to tell their stories no matter who they are and I think that is amazing.

In 2019, Kerry took part in over 100 book tours such as the one at Glasgow Kelvin College. For her, meeting those on the other end of the page is vital.

"I feel galvanised with every event, because I meet brilliant people who totally get the book and who are working in those communities and who understand what it's trying to do. And they give me a little push" she laughs.

"You can't have writers if there aren't readers, so if there is anything that I can leave as a take away is to urge people to join your local library and support the campaign against library closures. They are vital. We must protect them at all costs."