Penny Drysdale grew up in Maryborough, Victoria. She studied psychology and law and has worked on social justice and cultural projects throughout her varied career. In 2010, Penny moved to Alice Springs, where she works for the Akeyulerre Healing Centre. The centre was established by Arrernte elders to practice and celebrate culture, ensuring it is passed on to next generations.
Penny won the NT Literary Awards Poetry prize in 2015 and was a finalist in 2011 and 2012. Her first collection of poetry, Dew and Broken Glass, was published in 2017.