Aslaug Vaa was born on Nystog in Rauland, in Telemark county, Norway. Her lyrical debut was Nord i leite (1934). She was married to Norwegian psychologist and writer Ola Raknes.
Her poem So rodde dei fjordan ("then they rowed the fjords") was frequently recited on radio, has been selected for several anthologies, and is made a song with melody by Geirr Tveitt. Vaa's poetry and writing contains elements from local tradition, landscape and language, but also international influence.