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 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. The online edition is complete in itself, but a related print edition is being prepared as a print-on-demand paperback.
Scott, P., Knox, J., Mann, R. "The Collected Poems of Gavin Turnbull, Online." The 18th-Century Common, A Public Humanities Web-Site (August 2016): http://www.18thcenturycommon.
Scott, P. Editing Gavin Turnbull's "The Cottage." University of Glasgow Centre for Robert Burns Studies. March 12, 2015.
Brown, R. Review of Collected Poems of Gavin Turnbull, Online. Eighteenth-Century Scotland 30 (Spring 2016), 32-33.