Edward Field was born in Brooklyn, New York, and earned a BA at New York University. He served in the United States Air Force during World War II. His books include and Stand Up, Friend, With Me (1962), Variety Photoplays (1967), and Eskimo Songs and Stories (1973), Stars in My Eyes (1979), A Full Heart (1981), Magic Words (1997), and After the Fall: Poems Old and New (2007). He edited the anthology A Geography of Poets (1979) and coedited the sequel anthology A New Geography of Poets (1992).

Field won an Academy Award for writing narration for the documentary film To Be Alive (1965). His other awards include the Lamont Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Prix de Rome from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and the Lambda Literary Award. Field has lived in New York City and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College and Hofstra University.