Quincy Troupe (born 1939) is a poet, author, and editor, perhaps best known for co-writing Miles: The Autobiography (1989) with the influential jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.
Troupe was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Quincy Trouppe, Sr., was an all-star catcher in Negro league baseball, and an amateur boxing champion. He played in leagues in Central and South America as well as the United States, and wrote a memoir, 20 Years Too Soon (1977), about his baseball career.
Troupe became known first for his poetry. He was a member of the Watts Writers Workshop in Los Angeles, which formed in response to the Watts riots of 1965, and he edited Watts Poets - A Book of New Poetry and Essays (1968). His published collections of poetry include The Architecture of Language (2006), Transcircularities: New and Selected Poems (2002), Choruses (1999), Avalanche (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). Troupe is also a highly-regarded performer of his poetry. He was featured on the Bill Moyers series The Power of the Word on PBS in 1989.
Miles: The Autobiography received an American Book Award in 1990. Troupe's other prose books include Miles and Me: A Memoir of Miles Davis (2000), The Pursuit of Happyness (with Chris Gardner, 2006), and Earl the Pearl: My Story (with Earl Monroe, 2013). He also co-produced The Miles Davis Radio Project (1989-1991), a public radio series; and wrote Thelonious Monk: American Composer (1991), a television documentary. Troupe prepared multiple drafts of a screenplay for Miles and Me. The film was in development for several years, but was never produced.
Troupe edited the anthologies James Baldwin: The Legacy (1989) and Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writing (1975); served as senior editor of the journal River Styx; and is a founding editor of Confrontation: A Journal of Third World Literature, Black Renaissance Noir, and American Rag. He was the founding editorial director of Code magazine (1999-2000), and was involved in the early stages of Advance magazine in the mid-1980s, which eventually became Emerge. Troupe has also written freelance articles for many magazines, including Spin and Elle, and he was editor-at-large for The Green Magazine.
In 1991, Troupe received the Peabody Award for The Miles Davis Radio Project. His other honors include a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts (1987); an American Book Award for lifetime achievement (2010); and the Milt Kessler Award for Poetry (2003). In 2002, Troupe was named Poet Laureate of the State of California, a post from which he was forced to resign after a background check revealed he had lied on his resume.
From the mid-1970s until 2003, he taught creative writing at the College of Staten Island, Columbia University, and the University of California, San Diego, and he continues to teach writing workshops for children and adults. Troupe lives with his wife, Margaret Porter Troupe, in Harlem, New York.
Poems - 10 in all
Snow & Ice
Poem For My Father
Poem Reaching For Something
After Hearing a Radio Announcement
The Day Duke Raised: May 24th, 1974
Quincy Troupe - 3 ~ New ~
Amnesia #3: Photographs & Videos