California’s poet laureate resigns for falsifying resume
October 20, 2002
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lost its first official poet laureate after he acknowledged lying on the resume he used to get the job.
La Jolla poet Quincy Troupe, appointed June 11 by Gov. Gray Davis, stated in his resignation letter: “I deeply regret my ill-advised decision to include inaccurate information on my curriculum vitae. While I attended Grambling College, I never earned a college degree.”
Davis spokesman Steve Maviglio said the discrepancy arose during a routine background check for Troupe’s confirmation by the state Senate.
Davis accepted the resignation with regret.
Maviglio said of Troupe, “He was extremely popular. His work was fantastic. He was loved among his students. It’s a shame.”
In June, Davis picked Troupe, 62, from three finalists for the position, which includes a $10,000 honorarium to give readings across the state and raise the profile of poetry among school children.
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Troupe, a professor of creative writing and American and Caribbean literature at the University of California at San Diego, is author of 13 books, including six books of poetry.
“Having been named poet laureate of the state of California was one of the high points in my career,” Troupe said in a statement. “I am honored and privileged to have served in that position, albeit for a short time. It was never my intent to disappoint any of all the wonderful people who have been enormously supportive of me and who have expressed such pride in my appointment.”
Troupe said he looked forward to “turning my full attention” to continuing to teach at UC San Diego.
Messages left after-hours for two university spokeswomen were not returned.
It remained unclear Friday how Troupe will be replaced.
California is one of 24 states with an official poet laureate. Troupe succeeded five poets appointed by the Legislature unofficially since 1915.