Now, Turpin, a 33-year-old doctoral candidate in English at the University of Houston, has found the novel itself - a discovery that upends what previously was believed about the 19th-century poet’s early career. Published anonymously as a serial in 1852, “Life and Adventures of Jack Engle” reveals much about Whitman’s early life and work that the poet later tried to hide.
Because of this discovery, along with his previous Walt Whitman findings, Turpin has been awarded the Kluge Fellowship to live in Washington D.C. for several months this summer and see what additional Walt Whitman lost works he can find in the Library of Congress.
“We are delighted to invite Zack to the Library of Congress to advance his exciting research in the early career of Walt Whitman,” said Ted Widmer, director of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. “His highly innovative research has shown everyone the potential of new digital search tools, while reminding us that the original print sources are still essential. It should be a fun summer.”