They've Packed Up the Rock and Roll

They've Packed Up the Rock and Roll


Edith Rylander

ISBN: 978-1945063275

Published: March 2019

Typeface: Warnock

Add To Cart

They’ve Packed up the Rock and Roll: Poems 1955 – 2018 is both a selection of new poems and a collection of older work which has never been issued in book form before. The poems reflect life experience from the author’s twenties to her eighties and each section of the book represents a theme or concern in human life.

Edith Rylander was born in the Sacramento Valley of California during the middle of the Great Depression to indigent but literate parents. Her early childhood was spent in Gold Hill, Nevada, a one-time boom town gone bust, where her father worked as a miner and she attended first grade in a one room school.

World War II closed mines and sent the family to defense plant work in California. They settled in Sunnyvale, then a small canning and manufacturing town. Here Edith attended local schools and began writing poems at age eight.

She got her BA in English at San Jose State College, where she met John D. Rylander, whom she married in 1958. The couple lived in Arroyo Grande, Carmel, and Pacific Grove, CA, where John taught in local high schools.

Repelled by California's unchecked development, the Rylanders packed up their two children and household goods and relocated to Grey Eagle, Minnesota, in 1964. After they spent a year in a wood-heated, uninsulated, unplumbed lake cottage, John took a teaching job at St Cloud State University. After a number of moves, the birth of a third child, and a year's experience running a small fishing resort, the Rylanders returned to Grey Eagle, where they built a family home (and, later, a retirement home) near Big Swan Lake.

They have attempted a way of life which is locally centered and easy on the planet, feeding themselves from their own land and using self-built composting outhouses. They have chronicled this experience in a joint memoir, Journeying Earthward. Edith has also been a newspaper columnist since 1980, her work appearing in the Long Prairie Leader, the Morrison County Record, and the St. Cloud Times, and in a collection called Rural Routes: Essays on Living in Rural Minnesota (North Star Press of St. Cloud.)

Edith Rylander has now been writing poetry since 1943. Her life as wife, mother, gardener, stock raiser, woods dweller, and thoughtful observer of nature and life is reflected in her poems, which have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. She received Bush Fellowships for Poetry in 1980 and 1991 and a Loft-McKnight Award for Poetry in 1994.