Cover photo for Corrine "Cori" Martin's Obituary
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1959 Corrine "Cori" 2023

Corrine "Cori" Martin

May 9, 1959 — September 9, 2023

Columbus

Corrine Suzanne “Cori” Martin died September 9, aged 64, after a long struggle with complications from autoimmune liver disease. Cori was unlucky in the body she was born into, suffering from several autoimmune conditions that over the years required the replacement of all her teeth and both knees. Sadly, her liver failed before it too could be replaced. Before her latest serious illness, she also suffered two compression fractures in her spine due to osteoporosis and had a steel rod inserted into her arm after a bad break. Cori had an indomitable will, however, so even before her knee surgeries she walked, or hobbled, the ancient Pilgrim Trail to Canterbury with her sister Stephanie, fortified each evening with Jameson’s and Advil. Born in Toronto, she lived with her family in Waterloo, Ontario, Sackville, New Brunswick, and on the family dairy farm in Listowel, Ontario, named by Cori and her siblings “Rivendell,” after Tolkien’s “Last Homely House East of the Sea.” She studied English at Goshen College, spending a semester teaching ESL in Haiti, an experience that remained with her throughout her life. After graduation, she took on the editorship of the Mount Forest Confederate, turning it into an award-winning local paper. Deciding to pursue further studies in English, she moved to Toronto, earning both an MA and a BEd at the University of Toronto. In Toronto she met her future husband, Hannibal Hamlin, who was also studying English, though they were brought together singing in the choir of St. Thomas’s Anglican Church. Cori and Hannibal pursued a rich career as singers in Toronto, specializing in Early Music, performing as solo and ensemble singers with Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, the Exultate Chamber Singers, the Toronto Chamber Choir, and the Elora Singers, among many other groups. They co-founded the ensemble Sexti Toni, which performed concerts with instrumentalists directed by Cori’s sister Stephanie. Later, Cori and Hannibal both taught English at Toronto high schools, Cori first at the University of Toronto Schools, and then both at Malvern Collegiate. When Hannibal decided to do a PhD, Cori moved with him to New Haven, where they both sang in the choir of Christ Church, and she for a time worked as the church’s administrator. A job as the assistant to the director of IMG Artists took Cori (Hannibal following) to New York, where she helped facilitate the careers of musicians like Itzhak Perlman, Murray Perahia, Leif Ove Andsnes, Joshua Bell, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, and the King’s Singers. Hannibal graduated from Yale in 2000 and was hired by The Ohio State University, so they moved to Ohio, first to Mansfield and later to Columbus, with two years in between in Washington, DC, where Hannibal had a research fellowship. Cori taught writing as well as poetry for a number of years at Ohio State but continued to work on her own poetry and drama, having begun writing seriously in New Haven. Her play The Fall of Man had group readings in Concord, Massachusetts, and at the University of Nebraska, and Behind the Arras, about the sad life of Delia Bacon, received a staged reading at the Department of Theater at The Ohio State University. Her poetry was published in the journals Spiritus and The New Quarterly, the latter awarding her the Nick Blatchford Prize for Occasional Verse in 2015. Several other poems were set to music by composers Bruce Nichol and (sister) Stephanie Martin, the sisters collaborating especially on the choral symphony, Babel, premiered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Faculty of Music at Wilfried Laurier University in 2016. Cori’s book on restaurant history, The Public Table: Palace Hotel Dining in Pre-Civil War America, was unpublished at her death. Cori loved literature, music, art, gardening, cooking and food history, and travel, and she was fiercely passionate about everything, and everyone, she loved.

Cori is survived by her husband, Hannibal Hamlin, her mother, Shirley Martin, brother Kevin Martin and partner Lynne McNab, sister Stephanie Martin, brother Craig Martin and sister-in-law Susan Murley; sister-in-law Sarah B. Hamlin and brother-in-law Charles A. Hamlin; nieces Shauna Martin and Sophie Gibson, and nephews David Martin, Patrick Martin, and Cyrus Gibson. She was predeceased by her father, Abner Martin, and brother-in-law (Stephanie), Bruce Kirkpatrick Hill, and her parents-in-law, Cyrus, and Rosamond Hamlin.  

In honor of Cori, donations can be made to a charity most meaningful to you.

Arrangements with GRAUMLICH FUNERAL HOME, 1351 South High Street, Columbus, OH. 43207. To leave an online condolence for the family please visit Cori’s tribute page at www.graumlichfuneralhome.com

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