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Sat, 07.22.1939

From St. Louis to the world, Quincy Troupe

*Quincy Troupe was born on this date in 1939. He is a Black poet, performer, and editor.

From St Louis, Missouri, he is the son of Negro League baseball catcher Quincy Trouppe (who added a second "P" to the family name while playing in Mexico to make the Spanish pronunciation easier. Quincy Troupe attended Grambling State University on a baseball scholarship; he left after his first two semesters to join the United States Army.  In his free time as a soldier, he developed the passion for writing. After the Army Troupe moved to Los Angeles, where he got involved with the Watts Writers Workshop and began writing in a more jazz-based style.

While on tour with the Watts group in 1969, Troupe visited Ohio University, he was offered a position as writer-in-residence.  In 1971, he moved to Richmond College on Staten Island in New York City, where he was a lecturer.  Troupe edited the anthology Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writing (1975) and is a founding editor of Confrontation: A Journal of Third World Literature and American Rag and the founding Editorial Director of Code. In 1991, he received the Peabody Award for co-producing and writing the radio show The Miles Davis Radio Project.

Troupe has won many awards in the academic and literature world, winning an American Book Award for 1989's Miles, the Autobiography (written with Miles Davis) and earning numerous other accolades.  In 1990, Troupe moved to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as a professor of literature, where he continued to gain acclaim, and became the founding editor of Code Magazine.

His books of poetry include Transcircularities: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2002); Choruses: Poems (1999); Avalanche: Poems (1996); Weather Reports: New and Selected Poems (1991); Skulls along the River (1984); Snake-Back Solos: Selected Poems 1969-1977 (1979), which received an American Book Award; and Embryo Poems, 1967-1971 (1974). He is also the author of Miles: The Autobiography (1989), which received an American Book Award; James Baldwin: The Legacy (1989); and the memoir, Miles and Me: A Memoir of Miles Davis (2000).

In 2002 Troupe was named California's first Poet Laureate. A background check revealed that Troupe had, in fact, never possessed a degree from Grambling; confronted with the information, he resigned the post. He retired to an emeritus position from UCSD at this same time.

Among his other honors and awards are fellowships from the National Foundation for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. Troupe lives with his wife, Margaret, and son Porter, in Harlem, New York City.

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