angela rydell photoAngela Rydell

     Angela Rydell teaches poetry workshops for the UW—Madison Division of Continuing Studies, including the annual Writers' Institute conference. She has taught creative writing workshops throughout Madison, in the adult education program at Edgewood College, as poet-in-residence in elementary schools, and in programs for senior citizens. She also is available for private critiques and runs the private workshop Craft and Critique out of her home. Her work has been published in Poets & Writers, Prairie Schooner, The Beloit Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Alaska Quarterly and other journals, and is forthcoming in The Crab Orchard Review and The Sun magazine. She holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College.

For more details on her publications, workshops and private critiques, see

I'm Alone and You're a Bottle

In you, empty blue bottle on the windowsill,
people walk on a paved sky,
turn a swimming, sun-stroked periwinkle.
Birds fly backwards and upside-down,
traffic is truncated, tiny, curving into nothingness.

Sunlight filters through, and you,
open-mouthed and tinted blue, are learning
the world's so silly,
and nothing sticks around long enough.

I know, I've been at the window too,
standing there all blue, watching
the world come and go,
unable to hold on to any of it.

previously appeared in Barrow Street, Winter 2001

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Midlife Crisis

Living alone in a neighborhood of strangers,
I know the name of the little girl next door
from pastel drawings on the sidewalk.
Two men live across the street—friends, brothers, lovers—
they have never said; I have never asked.

But I know far off in the Australian outback
lies the largest single piece of stone in the world.
Surrounded by hundreds of miles
of dry, rippled sand, it sits alone,
a red, craggy sprawl five miles around.
Though called the red heart of the country, it doesn’t respond
to precarious shifting underground,
doesn’t bleed molten orange,
no one has tried to make anything out of it.
Empty space surrounds all sides.

And I sit in my small house, wondering
how stable is it?.

previously appeared in Barrow Street, Winter 2001