Quincy Troupe

1939 –

Poet, performer, and editor Quincy Troupe was born July 22, 1939, in St. Louis. He was the son of Quincy Troupe Sr., a catcher on a Negro League baseball team. The younger Troupe attended Grambling College but did not graduate. Between 1966 and 1968, he worked as an instructor in the Watts Writers Workshop.

Troupe’s books of poetry include Duende: Poems, 1966–Now (Seven Stories Press, 2021); The Architecture of Language (Coffee House Press, 2006); Transcircularities: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2002); Choruses (Coffee House Press, 1999); Avalanche (Coffee House Press, 1996); Weather Reports: New and Selected Poems (Writers & Readers, 1991); Skulls along the River (I. Reed Books, 1984); Snake-Back Solos: Selected Poems 1969–1977 (Reed Cannon & Johnson Pub, 1979), which received an American Book Award; and Embryo Poems, 1967–1971 (Balenmir House, 1974).

Troupe is also the co-author of Miles: The Autobiography (Simon & Schuster, 1989), which received an American Book Award; James Baldwin: The Legacy (Simon & Schuster, 1989); and Miles and Me: A Memoir of Miles Davis (University of California Press, 2000). Troupe edited the anthology Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writing (Random House, 1975). He is a founding editor of both Confrontation: A Journal of Third World Literature and American Rag, as well as 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.

Among Troupe’s 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. He is also the recipient of the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, a 2014 Furious Flower Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Award.

Troupe has taught at the University of California San Diego and Columbia University. He also served as poet laureate of the state of California. A poetry editor of A Gathering of the Tribes and a contributing editor to Konch, he lives in La Jolla, California.