Born in Bobroisk, White Russia, Dropkin received a secular and religious education and taught in Warsaw. She married Samuel Dropkin, a Bund activist, and when czarist authorities forced him to flee, the family moved to New York in 1912 (she had five children who survived into adulthood). Although, Dropkin wrote her initial poems in Russian, in 1917 she began to write Yiddush poetry. Celia Dropkin's most recognized poems are about sex, love, and death - poems which shocked her peers but earned her respect and praise. Only one of her books was published during her lifetime. In her final years, she began painting in oils and water colors.