Pay No Heed to the Rockets

Palestine in the Present Tense

Marcello Di Cintio

Across Palestine, from the Allenby Bridge and Ramallah, to Jerusalem and Gaza, Marcello Di Cintio has met with writers, poets, librarians, booksellers and readers, finding extraordinary stories in every corner. Stories of how revolutionary writing is smuggled from the Naqab Prison; about what it is like to write with only two hours of electricity each day; and stories from the Gallery Café, whose opening three thousand creative intellectuals gathered to celebrate.

Pay No Heed to the Rockets offers a window into the literary heritage of Palestine that transcends the narrow language of conflict. Paying homage to the memory of literary giants like Mahmoud Darwish and Ghassan Kanafani and the contemporary authors they continue to inspire, this evocative, lyrical journey shares both the anguish and inspiration of Palestinian writers at work today.

About the Author

Marcello Di Cintio is an award-winning Canadian writer who has lived in West Africa, North Africa, India and the Middle East. He is the author of Harmattan: Wind across West Africa, Poets, Pahlevans: A Journey into the Heart of Iran and Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, which won the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Book Prize and the Wilfred Eggleston Prize for Non-Fiction, and was also named as one of The Globe and Mail‘s top 100 books of 2012. He is a former writer in residence with the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and the Palestine Writing Workshop, and an instructor at the 2015 Iceland Writers Workshop.


‘A masterful work. Di Cintio weaves together history with a sense of place, character and dialogue infused with humour, to produce a contemporary portrait of a people who continue to resist both occupation and simple categorisation.’ Selma Dabbagh

‘A powerful journey through Palestine’s contemporary culture, where silenced authors defend themselves, female writers speak loudly and stolen private libraries are restored.’ Atef Abu Saif

‘What [Di Cintio] does do, bravely and forcefully, and with impressive commitment, is to bear witness to the suffering of people’ The Guardian

`[Di Cintio] writes well, unpicking some of the world's trouble spots in spare and lucid prose.' Literary Review