POETS’ CORNER: The Temperature of Orange

Spotlight: Sabrina Collins

Sabrina Collins, a 24-year-old Frederick author is set to release her first book,
The Temperature of Orange.

Two years in the making, Collins opens up to her readers diary-style as she writes about her hardships, anger, pain and the silver linings in between.

“It’s a conviction of myself that I can’t portray in any other light. I am so proud of my work, even if no one ends up liking it.”

In this book, Sabrina recounts, reflects, and processes sexual assault and abusive relationships, a terrifying, unstable, and emotionally challenging progression that inevitably made her check herself into a mental hospital. She reached depths inside of herself that had never seen the light and wanted others to see themselves in this trauma, relate to, and grow from it. She wanted to be the vessel and example that shows if she could get through it, write about it, and share it, that they can ultimately do the same.

Samet Caliskan

After attempting to venture out and try her hand at short stories, Sabrina realized poetry conveys emotions in a way that so many words won’t allow. It cuts through without any rules and has made the writer master how to speak with little to no words.

“Poetry is set up in a way that correct English grammar doesn’t need to pick or pry at it. I often speak and write in poetic form and it’s bothered my professors for years, but poetry? No professor or person can tell me how to write or what to change or move this word here. It’s mine. I say it and read it how it’s supposed to be read. That is why poetry is by far my favorite.”

She wrote her first poem in the seventh grade. After being sent to the office for telling the story about a man whose life fell apart so he hung himself, one of Sabrina’s teachers said she loved it and kept a copy. A voice of support, the teacher may be the reason Sabrina returned to poetry later in life.

“When I really came back into writing poems, it was because a kid broke my heart and writing in a diary wasn’t something I felt helped, but poetry did. I hadn’t written in years at the point that I started my book. It just kept pouring out of me though and by the end of it I had about one hundred something poems, so I just kept going and now I made a whole book!”

“I’ve written some really beautiful work and gotten back into writing more so than I had ever been.”

For a young author in Frederick, Sabrina says it’s an odd experience because of the limited knowledge and number of resources in this area for self-publishing or exposure. As a result, the 24-year old was pushed to do everything by herself. She admits she learned and is still learning along the way; the journey is hard but so rewarding and self-fulfilling.

About The Temperature of Orange:

It first started out as a book I was writing for one person, whom I refer to as the color Orange.

I kept writing about how heartbroken I was because of him. Then I started writing how angry I was with him and ultimately how heartbroken I was FOR him. But roughly in my first semester at my state university, I had a mental break down. Truly, I didn’t think the day would come but I failed every midterm exam and realized that what was happening to me was a relapsed PTSD episode and became hospitalized. After that, I started writing about my sexual assaults. I started and kept writing about my secrets, things I never wanted to tell, and still don’t want to tell but need to.

In conclusion, I wrote this book for me.

The cover says, “Written with You Carefully in Mind” but that’s not for the reader, it’s for me. I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be with therapy, and I felt I couldn’t really tell anyone what was happening or had happened to me, so I thought why not tell everyone. I feel that if I can work up the courage to put myself out there and my tragedies, that someone else can come forward and not feel as alone as I always have. I want it to become more normalized that we discuss rape culture and we discuss this new wave of “emotional pornography” that is hurting how we love and date. But in all actuality, I just wanted to feel normal, I wanted to feel like I could walk outside in my own skin and not hide behind a mask I’ve been wearing for too long. And lastly, I’m truly tired of hiding my monster: my rapist. So a lot of my work involves the connection between inanimate objects and human feelings and human nature. I reference flowers a great deal because they’re delicate, like me. They can break easy, like me. And they can grow again, like me.

I kept saying I was finished every other month because I assumed writing a breakthrough piece was my “end all be all” work. It never was, I kept writing even after.

Upon finishing the book, Collins knew it was complete after writing her most dramatic poem on page 186. The moment I finished that piece in under ten minutes…I knew it was over. I came to peace with myself like how I had hoped I did with the other works that I kept saying ‘were the last ones.’ It was ground-breaking to say the least.”

“I think my end goal, in a selfish way I suppose, was to set myself free.”

Along with wanting others to feel they can be open with setting their monsters free and expressing powerful, controversial messages, this book was for the young author’s own coping, healing and self-support. She wrote it with hopes of making her whole again — and for the most part, it has.

To purchase the book, preorder with the author. E-book and physical copies are available. You can reach Sabrina Collins here!

Photo Cred: Samet Caliskan

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