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The conclusion of issue 24, Risk Pool

We’re pleased to announce the conclusion of issue 24, Risk Pool, which we invite you to read (or revisit). The issue asks, how are sickness and wellness defined today, and by whom? What are the effects of these definitions, these acts of naming and describing? What do the realities of illness betray of the pitfalls of the status quo—successful normativity—toward which the sick are encouraged to heal? We have been especially interested in how the vulnerability of our bodies, and the illnesses that occasionally or continually seize them, reveal structural aspects of our societies. As guest editor Corrine Fitzpatrick reminds us in her essay “Illness As Festival,” “health is always in relation to power.”

We dedicate this issue to Risk Pool contributor Barbara Hammer (1939–2019). Barbara’s commitment to art, community, and the unflinching creative exploration of her body, mind, and legacy through terminal illness inspires us profoundly.

Launched in January 2018, Risk Pool includes seventeen works of poetry, prose, visual art, readings, and conversations. The issue’s visual identity, Arial All, designed by Cary Potter, confronts the inaccessibility of typography online. Arial All makes a series of extensions and adjustments to the omnipresent typeface Arial, which improve legibility for readers with dyslexia and impaired vision.

With contributions by Ragna Bley, Gregg Bordowitz, Michelle Boulé & Kayvon Pourazar, Pak Sheung Chuen, Corrine Fitzpatrick, Barbara Hammer, Johanna Hedva, Sheree Hovsepian, Theodore Kerr, Kia LaBeija, Carolyn Lazard, Lana Lin, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Beza Merid, Cary Potter, Prageeta Sharma, Esmé Weijun Wang, and What Would an HIV Doula Do?