The 2008 Rolf Potts Marco Polo Didn’t Go There book tour

Last week, when I announced that my new book is available for sale at, a number of readers wrote in to tell me that they’d also found copies of it in the travel sections of their local bookstores. The book was initially scheduled to launch on September 15th, but — hey — since it’s already for sale everywhere, why not just say it’s launching today?

So there you have it: Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is officially released!

The subtitle to the book is “Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer,” and the story collection is just that — a look back at my boldest, funniest, and most revealing travel-writing adventures from the past 10 years. Unlike, say, essay collections from David Sedaris, Anne Lamott or Chuck Klosterman (or even Tim Cahill), however, each of my stories also contains a “commentary track” — endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. The result, I believe, is more than just an entertaining literary journey into fascinating corners of the world — it’s also an offbeat travel-writing textbook, as each story is offset by an annotated peak into its own creation. The intro chapter (which explains, for example, why I use a word like “postmodern” in the subtitle) can be accessed online from the Travelers’ Tales promo page for the book.

By next week I hope to add a unique Marco Polo Didn’t Go There page at, complete with reviews, sample chapters, and a finalized book-tour event listing. For now, I’m posting my tentative book tour schedule below, covering the metro areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, and Salina. [Montreal, San Diego, Baltimore, and DC might be added later, depending on scheduling issues.] As was the case for Vagabonding in 2003, Bootnsall Travel Network will be co-sponsoring many of the events on this book tour.

I also hope to visit some book clubs during my tour, though I don’t have a specific plan on just how I’m going to do this. So if you have a book club (or if you want to create one to coincide with my tour) and it looks like I’ll be in your general area, send me an email and let’s see if we can’t set something up.

My online “virtual book tour” will start next Monday, September 15th, and will feature book-related reviews, Q&As, and short essays on select travel blogs. After the virtual tour finishes, I’ll be writing regular road-dispatches for Gadling as my real-world book tour makes its way around North America.

For now, my tentative 2008 Marco Polo Didn’t Go There book tour information is as follows:





  • Saturday, October 11th, Minneapolis, 10:00am -5:00pm, Online info
    Twin Cities Book Festival, with Valerie Martin, Robert Bly, and others
    Minneapolis Community & Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Avenue S
  • Monday, October 13th, St. Paul, 7:30pm, Online info
    Common Good Books, 165 Western Ave N #14, St. Paul, (651) 225-8989


  • Monday, October 20th, Manhattan, 7:00pm, Online info
    The Half King, 505 W 23rd St, just west of 10th Ave, (212) 462-4300
    The closest subway stop is the “C” and “E” line at 23rd and 8th Ave.
  • Tuesday, October 21st, Manhattan, 7:00pm, Online info
    Book Culture, 536 West 112th St, (212) 865-1588
  • Wednesday, October 22nd, Camden, NJ (near Philadelphia, PA), 7:00pm, Online info
    Rutgers-Camden, Stedman Gallery, Fine Arts Building, with poet Patrick Rosal
  • Thursday, October 23rd, Manhattan, 7:00pm, Online info
    Book Culture, 536 West 112th St, (212) 865-1588
    Travel seminar with Pauline Frommer and Matt Gross




  • Thursday, November 20th, Redlands, time TBA
    University of Redlands, Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, location TBA
  • Monday, November 24th, Pasadena, time TBA, Online info
    Distant Lands, 56 S. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, (800) 310-3220

For early press on Marco Polo Didn’t Go There, check out recent articles in the Salina Journal, Canada’s National Post, or (if you can read Italian) Italy’s La Repubblica.

Posted by | Comments (7)  | September 7, 2008
Category: Book Release and Tour Diary, Rolf's News and Updates

7 Responses to “The 2008 Rolf Potts Marco Polo Didn’t Go There book tour”

  1. John Says:

    I hate to be one of those people who say “Come to my town!” but I totally am…

    Come to Detroit!!!!

  2. Rolf Potts Says:

    Detroit sounds great (I haven’t been there since 1994), but I could only fit so many stops into my Upper Midwest leg of the tour. I think Chicago is as close as I’ll get!

  3. Amanda Says:

    -tear- It’s too bad your not passing by Madison, WI.

  4. Lola Says:

    I heard Baltimore/Washington DC are possible future locations. I sure hope so!

  5. Rolf Potts Says:

    Indeed, Amanda (Madison is a great little town) — but I will be in Chicago, if you want to rally a road-trip of Wisconsin folks!

    Lola, stay tuned — we’re still waiting to hear back on DC/Balmer. We’re kind of competing with election week in early Nov, so it might not work out….

  6. Rolf Potts Goes On Tour! Says:

    […] You can find more detail (including venue addresses and contact information) here. […]

  7. Swabi Says:

    @ John

    I am comming to detroit….