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June 1, 2009

Marco Polo in Italian and other Rolf news

Recent weeks have seen me travel out to Bermuda for World Hum, across Kansas for The Believer, and off to Russia for Afar; articles about these experiences will debut in coming months. Here’s what else has been going on for me in the travel-publishing world:

  • My Italian publisher, Ponte alle Grazie, recently sent me the cover art for Marco Polo non ci e mai stato — the Italian translation of Marco Polo Didn’t Go There. Considering that Ponte alle Grazie did such a nice job of translating and promoting Vagabonding (“L’Arte Di Girare il Mondo”) for Italian audiences several years ago, I have high hopes for this translation of my new book, which debuts in July. Elsewhere, the English edition of Marco Polo Didn’t Go There was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine‘s indie-press “Book of the Year” listings — and just last week the State Library of Kansas included my book as the lone travel narrative among the 15 titles on its 2009 Notable Book list. “[Potts's] portrayal of his life on the road is captivating,” the announcement read, “with some stories that are hilarious and others that are absolutely terrifying.”
  • Speaking of translations, I recently had a story appear in the New Delhi-based Sunday Indian, which bills itself as “The Only News Magazine On Earth in 14 Languages”. My vagabonding-themed story, “Travel Long, Travel Cheap,” was part of a special travel issue that included articles by Eric Weiner, Peter Moore, Jim Rogers, and Robert Young Pelton. I also recently wrote a couple of very short opinion pieces for Poets & Writers and The Chronicle of Higher Education; an essay about Australian Aboriginal art for mental floss; and “Like Spirits in the Night,” a Laos-based travel tale for Outside’s GO (note that Gregg Segal’s excellent shot of me taking notes in the tropics was actually staged in the Los Angeles hills after a Marco Polo book event in Pasadena last fall).
  • My recent “Ask Rolf” columns at World Hum have included a piece on dealing with race while traveling, an argument against using Twitter while you travel, recommendations on cheap places to travel during the economic slump, and advice on how to break your vagabonding dreams to your family.
  • Travel Blissful interviewed me back in March as did my friend, former student, and Romanian travel-TV personality Razvan Marc (the introduction is in Romanian, but the Q&A itself is in English). On the other side of the interview table, I recently talked to a number of travel authors for my RolfPotts.com Writers page, including Lost City of Z author David Grann, Travel Therapy author Karen Schaler, and Geography of Bliss author Eric Weiner.
  • On a final note, another Potts scribe has made online news of late: AbeBooks.com announced that its 100 millionth book to be listed was none other than A Checklist of the Vertebrate Animals of Kansas (1991), by George Potts. Congrats, Dad!

Posted by | Comments (3) 
Category: Rolf's News and Updates


3 Responses to “Marco Polo in Italian and other Rolf news”

  1. Aaron H Says:

    Appreciate the update, Rolf! Sounds like they’re keeping you busy.

  2. Susan Fox Says:

    What I loved about “Marco Polo…”, besides the great stories, was the story behind the story. It really helped my understand how to start to shape a narrative for writing accounts of my own travels, if only for my blog. I don’t feel so dishonest now if I leave something out or alter things for narrative flow. It’s really kind of like a painting. I edit a lot from my reference and never put everything in. Hadn’t thought about applying that to writing in quite that way.

  3. » Rolf’s fall mini-tour, and new awards for Marco Polo :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Says:

    [...] started to receive some awards at the state, national, and international level. A few weeks ago I mentioned that it had received a Kansas Book Award; now, just yesterday, I learned that it has also won a [...]

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