Madge Herron was born in Gleann na mBuachaill (Glenaboghill) near Fintown Co.Donegal on the 3rd September 1916. Involved in amateur dramatics she moved to Dublin in the 1930s where she joined the Abbey Theatre. Befriended by G.B Shaw, she was considered for the lead role in the London Production of Saint Joan. It was said that she married Hilton Edwards in a mock wedding ceremony.
She moved to London sometime during the 1940s or fifties. By the 1970s, as a poet she was regarded as something of a lost treasure by the younger generation of Irish writers including Shane Connaughton, Pearse Hutchinson, and Eddie Lindon who published her in his literary magazine Aquarius.
She was known for her love of animals, acerbic wit and her dark humour. In her later years she lived an itinerant life on the streets of Kentish Town and around Camden. She published little in her lifetime due to her distrust of commercial publishers but preferred to read and broadcast her work.
Her poetry is published in Aquarius, Pillars of the House, An Anthology of Verse by Irish Women. (Ed. A.A Kelly, Wolfhound Press, Dublin 1987), and Love Poems by Women: An Anthology of Poetry from around the World and through the Ages (edited by Wendy Mulford, Fawcett Columbine, New York, 2000).
Madge Herron died in a North London nursing home, June 19th 2002.
* contributed by Padraig O’Gallachoir