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Sam Payne is a poet, writer, and creative based in Cambridge, UK. His debut poetry collection—this boy is a rainbow—will be published in 2018. Throughout his work, he writes about themes of love and heartache, healing and empowerment. By sharing his words with the world, he offers a positive message of survival for the wounded heart or bruised soul. When he is not writing, he can be found in a good coffee shop, eating a slice of red velvet cake.

For the latest updates about his work, follow him on Instagram or Twitter.

When did you start writing?
As a child, I had an active imagination. I would dress up in costumes, invent different worlds, and play out stories with my siblings. That’s where my writing–my storytelling–began.

As a teenager, I learnt to play the guitar and soon began to write my own songs. It was a way to understand myself and to express my feelings. In a way, the twenty to thirty songs that I wrote back then were my first poems.

It wasn’t until I started university that I began to take writing more seriously. During my three years, I wrote a draft of a young adult mystery novel, some flash fiction and various short stories that tackled mental health, gender and sexuality. But it wasn’t until my final year that I started writing poetry.

What inspired you to write this boy is a rainbow?

In my final year at university, I went through an unsettling time. I lost my first love. A three-year relationship that I had invested in and depended on, gone. I felt powerless. I felt empty. I felt that I had lost my voice.

The only way that I felt I could handle how I was feeling was to write short poems in the notes of my phone. Whenever I was stung by a wave of pain–whether that was home alone or in the middle of a seminar–I would take out my phone and quickly tap out a few lines. I wrote my emotions out, purged myself, rather than bottling it within.

Over that year, I wrote hundreds of poems. Each one a clipping of my soul, a piece of my heart. Every single one is special to me. Because each one symbolises me taking back the voice I thought I had lost and learning to love someone else–myself.

When I started, I didn’t even realise I was writing poetry. I never intended to put them together in a poetry collection. I never thought I would someday have the bravery to publish them, let alone publish them under my own name and not a pseudonym. But I now know that’s exactly what I want and need to do.

I am not ashamed of my feelings, I am not ashamed of my past, I am proud that I have endured it–that I have survived–and I want to share that journey with others so that they, too, may survive their own troubles. Yes, I’m baring my emotions, my pain, my soul in these poems, which makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. But it’s worth it.