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Edward Field
(June 7, 1924 - living) U.S.A.

Edward Field

Poet

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Edward Field was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up on Long Island, where he played cello in the Field Family Trio over radio station WGBB. During World War II, he flew twenty-five missions over Europe. After a short time at New York University, where he first met Alfred Chester, he travelled to Europe in 1946 and focused seriously on his writing; he returned to the United States in 1948.

In 1956, after brief stints working in a warehouse, in art production, as a machinist, and as a clerk-typist, Field began studying acting with Russian émigré Vera Soloviova of the Moscow Art Theatre. He applied the techniques he learned to reading poetry in public, and was able to support himself in this way throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

His biography as a gay man is revealed in his poetry, in which he depicts himself as an ageing Jewish gay New York poet who never had enough sex because he repressed his homosexuality when he was youngher. Field's poetry is plain in its use of language and easy to understand. In A Full Hearth (1977) Field came out as a gay poet writing his most explicit gay work, including his gay manifesto, "The Two Orders of Love".

Nature needs both to do its work
and humankind, confusing two separate orders of love
makes rules allowing only one kind
and defies the universe.

Field was a long-time friend of Alfred Chester whom he met at New York University. His New and Selected Poems appeared in 1987. He has won the Lament Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and has held a Guggenheim fellowship as well as the Prix de Rome. He is also the editor of the widely-read poetry anthology, A Geography of Peers. In the Fall of 1992 Black Sparrow Press will publish his Counting Myself Lucky: Selected Poems 1963-1992. As for so many others, Alfred Chester was a totemic figure in his life.

Although Field makes regular trips to Europe, his permanent residence is in New York City.

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Source: excerpts from: Gabriele Griffin, Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay and Writing, Routledge, London, 2002 - et alii

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