Anna Rydstedt was born and spent many years of her life in the small farming village of Ventlinge on Öland, Sweden's second largest island. She wanted to become a minister, but as this occupation was then closed to women, she studied philosophy and the history of religion at the University of Lund before becoming a teacher. She was part of the literary circle known as the Lund school. The first of her eight published collection of poems, Bannlyst prästinna, appeared in 1953. In 1967, she married Erik Gustaf Dannstedt, also a high school teacher. She worked as a teacher in Eslöv and Stockholm, but returned for part of each year to the family farm, which she eventually took over.