ENCINITAS — After years of artistic contributions to the community, a local poet received the official title of “Encinitas Poet Laureate” last week.
Longtime Cardiff by the Sea resident Trish Dugger, 94, was first given the honorary title of poet laureate in 2005 in recognition of her prolific contributions to poetry in the community. Dugger’s status was made official at the Dec. 13 Encinitas City Council meeting.
“Trish Dugger is a true pioneer of poetry in Encinitas,” Mayor Tony Kranz said. “Her writing has brought joy to so many residents and inspired creativity for decades. It was only fitting to honor her again as she approaches her golden years.”
In a proclamation read by the mayor, the council praised Dugger’s “exceptional talent, profound passion, and ability to capture the essence of our community.”
Dugger, who was born in Chicago in 1952 and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, later moved with her late husband, Tyree Grant Dugger, to California to raise the couple’s four children. Dugger was one of the founding members of the local poetry group Full Moon Poets and her readings at the poetry slams at La Paloma Theatre were always a crowd favorite.
Dugger’s family was present to accept the honor on her behalf. Dugger’s grandson, Kevin Dugger, fought back tears as he recalled his grandmother’s love of performing verses for others.
“She had her poems memorized and would take on a poetic persona when sharing them,” Kevin said. “We’re celebrating her legacy tonight.”
Great-granddaughter Mimi Dugger put together a retrospective book of Dugger’s work from 1948 to 2019.
“My mom was so surprised and touched when she saw it on her 90th birthday,” Mimi said.