Anna Viola Magda Rydstedt-Dannstedt grew up in a farming home in the village of Ventlinge on Öland. Following her calling to become a pastor, an office from which women were excluded at that time, she went to study in Lund.
Her debut collection Bannlyst prästinna, 1953, which contains poems she wrote in her disappointed frame of mind, derives from her Christian view of life in quiet solidarity with the created and from a close-to-earth perspective. Her mother's illness and death are elements in her collection Jag var ett barn, 1970, and in the posthumously published collection Kore, 1994, she looks at the mother-child relationship from the angle of the Demeter myth.
Her other poetry collections are Lökvår, 1957, Min punkt, 1960, Presensbarn, 1964, Dess kropp av verklighet, 1976, and Genom nålsögat, 1989. A number of selected poems were printed in 1983 in the anthology Anna Rydstedt. Ett ansikte with an important foreword written by Göran Printz-Påhlson.