Marie-Lynn Hammond can’t decide if she should be listed here under Writers or Performers, since she’s both. But given that she’s also half French and half English, she’s used to not being able to decide exactly where she fits in.
On the performance side, she’s a founding member of Stringband, one of Canada’s seminal folk groups and indie-record pioneers. Called one of Canada’s best songwriters by no less than Estelle Klein, co-founder of the Mariposa Folk Festival, Marie-Lynn has six solo CDs to her credit. Her songs, ranging from witty and humorous to haunting and powerful, often feature stories of women’s lives and Canadian themes.
On the writing side, Marie-Lynn’s bilingual play about her grandmothers, De Beaux Gestes & Beautiful Deeds, was nominated for a Dora award and toured Canada. Three other plays and a co-written screenplay have all been professionally produced. She’s also written for various publications, including Chatelaine and the Toronto Star.
Oh, and in one of her past lives, she hosted two national CBC radio shows, Summershift and Musical Friends.
Twenty-five years ago, Marie-Lynn grew tired of being a touring musician in a country where it’s always winter somewhere, so she brushed off her English degree and retrained as an editor. Since then, she’s proofread and edited everything from cookbooks to novels to United Nations reports. In 2010 she had the pleasure of copyediting Esi Edugyan’s first Giller-prize winner, Half-Blood Blues.
Marie-Lynn still takes on small editing jobs, but she’s trying to retire so she can work on her current creative projects. Chief among these is a co-written YA novel, for which she and her co-author are seeking an agent.
In 2015 Marie-Lynn moved to Cobourg, where in addition to the aforementioned activities, she rides horses, rescues cats, and occasionally performs. If you’d like to host a house concert for her and her fabulous keyboardist Tom Leighton, let her know! Samples of her music and writing can be found on her website at www.marielynnhammond.com.