The Collected Poems of Gavin Turnbull Online

edited by Patrick Scott, John T. Knox, and Rachel J. Mann


Gavin Turnbull

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Scottish literature


The Collected Poems of Gavin Turnbull Online presents the first-ever full collection of writings by the Scottish poet Gavin Turnbull (1765-1816). It includes the writings he published both in Scotland and later in America. In the 200 years since he died, only a handful of Turnbull's poems have been available in anthologies or online, and his Charleston writings have never been collected. Turnbull, a younger contemporary of Robert Burns, started writing as a teenage carpet-weaver in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, in the 1780s. He published his first book, Poetical Essays, in 1788, followed by a second, Poems, in 1794, when he was an actor with a theatre company in Dumfries. In 1795, he emigrated to the United States, settling in Charleston, South Carolina, where he continued to act and write poetry. He became a U.S. citizen in 1813 and died in Charleston in 1816. The Collected Poems of Gavin Turnbull Online, edited by Patrick Scott, John Knox, and Rachel Mann, with the assistance of Eric Roper, includes all of Turnbull's poems in their earliest published texts with expanded annotation, together with his comedy, The Recruit (1794), which was staged both in Dumfries and Charleston. Research for this project was supported by an ASPIRE grant from the the Office of the Vice-President for Research, University of South Carolina.