Poet and performer Steve Benson was born in Princeton, New Jersey. He earned a BA from Yale, an MFA from the University of California at Irvine, and a Phd in Psychology from the Wright Institute. 

Benson moved to San Francisco in 1976, and shortly after helped to found the Language Poetry movement with Ron Silliman, Lyn Hejinian, Rae Armantrout, and others. His most recent books include Reverse Order (Potes & Poets, 1989), Roaring Spring (Tenefife, 1998), and Open Clothes (Atelos, 2005). He also coauthored the ten-volume experimental autobiographical project The Grand Piano (Detroit: Mode A, 2006–10) along with Armantrout, Hejinian, Silliman, Carla Harryman, Tom Mandel, Ted Pearson, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, and Barrett Watten. He has also collaborated in live public performances with many writers, including Leslie Scalapino and Jackson Mac Low.

Benson lives in Maine, where he works as a psychologist.