a girl is a lizard is a body is a dropout is a woman


  • Kathleen Payne Durham University


Kathleen Payne is a second-year undergraduate at Durham University from the northeast of England. She began a degree aged eighteen but struggled with feeling at home amongst her more confident peers at a top university–in terms of academics, appearance, and self-worth. Despite dropping out and taking some time completely away from education, she returned over six years later in 2020. This spoken-word piece traces her tumultuous relationship with learning through school to the present day, and how this entangled with her worries about body image and feeling worthy of her dreams of escaping the council estate she was born into.