Grace Perry was born in Melbourne, and received her education in Queensland and Sydney, graduating in medicine from the University of Sydney in 1951. In 1954 she established a successful practice at Five Dock in Sydney and worked at a number of surrounding hospitals. She later owned and operated a 2000 acre property at Berrima, New South Wales, where she developed her interest in the stud breeding of sheep and cattle.
Perry was interested in literature from an early age, publishing her first volume of poetry at fifteen and attracting praise from R. G. Howarth in Southerly. In 1961 she was appointed editor of Poetry Magazine, continuing in that position until 1964 when she left to found Poetry Australia because of internal disputes over the amount of space given to foreign writers. Eventually, Poetry Australia was published by Perry's own South Head Press which also published more than fifty books of poetry for writers such as John Millett, Craig Powell, Rodney Hall and Bruce Beaver. From her early beginnings in the Sydney poetry scene Perry eventually extended her involvement by organising readings, forums, workshops, festivals and competitions. Not confined to Sydney, these events were conducted throughout Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
Perry continued to write and publish her own poetry, producing more than six volumes with other presses and her own South Head Press. Her poetry regularly appeared in periodicals around the world and her work attracted a positive response from reviewers for collections such as Red Scarf (1963), Journal of a Surgeon's Wife and Other Poems (1976), and Snow in Summer (1980).
In 1985 Perry was awarded the NSW Premier's Special Award for services to literature. She also received further public recognition with the award of AM from the Federal Government in 1986. Grace Perry died one year later.