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Madonna Hamel
Val Marie
Audience Age Groups
Any Age

Madonna Hamel

Seven years ago I arrived in Val Marie, SK, birthplace of my mother and gateway to Garsslands National Park, as writer-in-residence at The Convent Inn. I soon learned that Grasslands is the quietest place in North America, according to acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton and a Dark Sky Preserve as designated by the Royal Astronomical Society. For the sake of my writing I decided to stay. Since then I have had 2 newspaper columns which focus on the come uppance of an urban nature-loving person in a rural community. The first column was  called The Story Pool, the second is Pop89. ( I also teach writing to a group of teens through Sage Hill Writing School and write book reviews for Saskbooks.

Before Val Marie I worked as a writer-braodcaster for a daily English CBC radio program in Quebec. My job was to travel the field and report on air every afternoon with a current afafirs or arts related story. After Quebec I worked as a documentary writer-producer for various Toronto-based shows: Inside the Music, Tapestry, Dispatches, Q, etc. My documentary "She Moves between Worlds" on Lhasa de sela won a NYC worlds best radio award and my doc on Americana music, "Portarit of Lincoln with the Wart" has been noted a primer for the Americana genre in jounals like Atlantic Monthly and NoDepression. I've created short run series based on various ideas, like: Hump Day-the fact of Wednesday, the changing face of religious worhisp in BC, the world of Jazz, Under_Score, the story behind the song, THis Day in Music History, etc. I also wrote book reviews for The Globe & Mail, artscanada, I hosted various short-term shows in Quebec, Montreal, Windsor.

My training is in performance and English Lit. I have been writing and perfroming monolgues and one-woman shows for over thirty years.  (The Book of Revolutions, Sister Jupiter's Rubber Soul, Lolita at 60, angry planet @12h00hrs, Body Language, What a Trip etc) My latest "Mother's Apron" is based on the stories behind aprons I collected for our local museum. I am in the process of finsihing a novel based on the monologue. I am also a singer-songwriter and had my own band in Quebec called Aunty Maddy and toured for 9 years with The Amercan bluesman James Armstrong as a back-up singer. I lived for a year in Memphis TN, studying the blues, ie: spending my days and nights on Beale Street. 

Some of the journals I've been published in include: Quill & Quire, Capilano Review, Room, Fireweed, Freelance, etc. My piece "Hearth Day", written as writer-in-res at Stegner House, won 2020 Prairie Fire Creative Nonfiction contest. 

I've taught creative writing and interviewing workshops, some using collage and/or masks as prompt tools, for over thirty years.
I've also collaborated on World sStorytelling Day with emerging elder Joseph Naytowhow in a storytelling show we call "Holy Smoke".
I'm available for teaching and writing assignments. I love being a writer in Saskatcehwean because this province values their storytellers and it shows in the work produced.

Broadcast Works

Love and Dust, MHamel at the Lyric, 2018-2021

An exceprt from Mother's Apron. With one of the songs I wrote for The piece: Love & Dust.

O Mother, MHamel at the Lyric, 2018-2021

Another exceprt from The Lyric performance

Portrait of Lincoln with the Wart, CBC Radio Inside the Music, 2010-2021

I insisted my producer send me to Nashville to cover the new Americana Festival and the new grammy category of Americna (which bumped the polka category out of the awards, taking away several Canadians in the process!). She agreed to let me drive down, not fly, as, I suggested  the road is to Amercna what the street is to rap.

She Moves Between Worlds, CBC Radio, 2010-2021

Remembering the Montreal musician and worls snastion Lhasa de Sela who died at the age of 37 in 2010. I used an old interview with her and played it for her msuicinas and friends and had them address it directly.


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