In Who Is Wellness For? (Harper Wave, June), poet and novelist Róisín explores her history as an abuse survivor and examines appropriation in the wellness world.

Much of your book covers the “wellness industrial complex”—how would you define it?

The wellness industrial complex operates under the idea that we can be in relationships with one another that are devoid of real human connection between ourselves and the earth. We’re relying on capitalism, on things, to fill a space for us so we don’t have to confront what it means to be here with one another and share space and be on this planet together. I think it’s a pretty new thing for a lot of people, to confront how disconnected we are.

The book is also very much a memoir. How did you decide to add your own story?

This book took so many different forms, and I think there’s a reason I started writing it during a pandemic. Everything was exposed for me, and I had to look at all the things that made me a person. I realized I actually wanted them to be known. I needed people to understand that I am a child sexual abuse survivor—that is my reality. And I think saying so is such a liberating experience. I think there isn’t a lot of writing from both perspectives: being a survivor, but also questioning and challenging the state and society. I’m saying that I don’t have shame for what happened to me.

How did you come up with the title, and what does it mean to you?

Wellness is for everyone. It always was. The idea is not extracting from other people, not exploiting others for your wellness. I think that there’s such power in caring. There’s such revolution in the possibility of actually embracing people. The Indigenous people of this land, for example, were so welcoming, so open, so loving. And to me, that’s the kind of legacy that I look toward. That kind of love and that kind of mercy and a belief that we can work towards something better. Capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, these things tell you that nothing is worthy of your attention or your intention. That’s just not where I see the world going anymore. I think we should all be challenging ourselves, and also challenging the elite. In a time when there are so many billionaires during a worldwide pandemic, it’s our social responsibility to ask people who have the power, “Why the fuck are you not doing more?” It’s our time. I’m fighting for true revolution. So let’s do it together.