Shapeshifters, written by Délani Valin, who is neurodivergent and Métis with Nehiyaw, Saulteaux, French-Canadian and Czech ancestry, explores the cost of finding the perfect mask. Through a lens of urban Métis experience and neurodivergence, Valin takes on a series of personas as an act of empathy as resistance.
Some personas are capitalist mascots like the Starbucks siren, Barbie and the Michelin Man, who confide the hopes and frustrations that lay hidden behind their relentless public enthusiasm. Others include psychiatric diagnoses like hypochondria, autism and depression, and unlikely archetypes like a woman who becomes a land mass by ending the quest to shrink herself. In more confessional poems, the pressure to find relief from otherness often leads to magical thinking: portals, flight, telepathy and incantations all become metaphors for survival. Shapeshifters maps ways in which an individual can attempt to fit into a world that is inhospitable to them, and makes a case to shift the shape of that world.