Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rolf Potts and Alex Von Tunzelmann Feature at Immrama Festival 2011

Famous Travel Writers Rolf Potts and Alex Von Tunzelmann feature on the programme for the ninth annual Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writers which take place in Co. Waterford from June 9 to 12.

The theme 'Along the Enchanted Way…Travellers Past and Present' will be explored by both writers in their presentations at 8pm on Saturday June 11.

Blogger and award-winning author Rolf Potts will reveal some of his travel secrets including how to travel with no luggage! Rolf has reported from more than sixty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, the New York Times Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler. A veteran travel columnist, his adventures have taken him across six continents, and include piloting a fishing boat 900 miles down the Laotian Mekong, hitchhiking across Eastern Europe, traversing Israel on foot and cycling across Burma.

Potts is perhaps best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel, and his book on the subject, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel (Random House, 2003), has been through twelve printings and translated into several foreign languages. His newest book, Marco Polo Didn't Go There: Stories and Revelations From One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer (Travelers' Tales, 2008), won a 2009 Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, and became the first American-authored book to win Italy's prestigious Chatwin Prize for travel writing.

The San Francisco Chronicle describes Potts as "one of the best travel writers to emerge in the last decade. Intrepid and thoughtful, he's a Paul Theroux for the backpacker generation."

Also featuring at the festival on Saturday June 11 is international travel writer and author Alex Von Tunzelman. Alex von Tunzelmann's latest book Red Heat was published in earlier this month to critical acclaim. It is a history of the Cold War in the Caribbean, focused around the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Castros and the Kennedys. Her first book, Indian Summer, was published in 2007. William Dalrymple called it "Unquestionably the best book I have ever read on the independence and partition of India and Pakistan, and pretty close to a flat-out masterpiece." It is in development as a feature film by Working Title Productions.

Alex writes regular travel pieces for Lonely Planet Magazine, where her assignments have ranged from a quest for a crystal skull in Belize to following the dogsled tracks of early explorers in the high Arctic. She has a weekly column for The Guardian Online about the real story behind historical movies.

International and award winning authors Conor O'Clery, Anthony Sattin, William Blacker, Theo Dorgan and Sara Wheeler also feature on the broad programme at the Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing 2011 from June 9 to 12.

A brand new addition to the programme is a 'Blogger's Forum' facilitated by Manchán Magan with special guests Rolf Potts, Áine Goggins of the TG4 Couchsurfing programme "Ó Tholg go Tolg", and Darragh Doyle of boards.ie.

In addition to the literary presentations the 2011 festival programme is packed with a variety of fringe events, including an International visual arts exhibition at Lismore Castle Arts, exhibition and events at Lismore Library, a kayaking event with Jasper Winn (author of Paddle - A Long Way Around Ireland) with Blackwater Boats, Festival Bookshop hosted by Eason Dungarvan, creative writing workshops, book readings and more.

The Immrama Festival of Travel Writing will be held in Lismore from June 9 to 12, 2011 and is generously supported by Failte Ireland, Waterford County Council, Eason Dungarvan and Waterford Airport, the Arts Council. Tickets and further information can be found on www.lismoreimmrama.com or by contacting 058 53803.

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