Lucinda Poole, Our Co-Worker in the OIP Awarded the Prize “Guiri del Año 2017” by Kukuxumusu
The American journalist, Lucinda Poole, has been awarded the XIV prize, “Guiri of the Year” during the fiesta of Sanfermines. Each year this award is given to a foreigner who stands out for his or her work and passion for the fiesta so loved by Hemingway.
Lucinda Poole, 60-years-old, is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and has been a San Fermín fan for three decades. She is the author of the first guide written about the fiesta, “Don´t be a Foreigner in Sanfermines” (1984) which sold 10,000 copies, and she now works with the International Press Office in Navarra during the fiesta, helping all the foreigners who come to Pamplona and have many different questions about what goes on. The new “Guiri of the Year” of Sanfermines is extremely happy to receive the prize and believes that it is the most unique fiesta in the world. ” It´s pure joy. A community of people from around the world who arrive here ready to spend the best moments of their lives.”
From the University of North Carolina to Pamplona
Lucinda Poole is an expert of Hemingway´s life and books and has been present at “her” fiesta 30 times. She has published, in addition to the first guide book, hundreds of articles, the majority on Hemingway and the fiesta. She first came to study in Spain at the University of Salamanca on a trip organized to learn about Spanish literature before entering the university. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Journalism and in International Studies, complimented by two other degrees in teaching English as a foreign language. She also studied methods on how to coach persons with low self-esteem. In addition, Lucinda volunteered as a trannslator in courts of law. She is married to the well-known blues musician, Bill Lyerly, but she believes her real life began the first time she visited Pamplona.
“I grew up in what is called the “old South” of the United States – a sort of “Gone with the Wind” atmosphere where women were taught to be ladies and not to dance in the street unless the basketball team won. My first visit to Sanfermines happened when I was very young, and before I could tie the laces of my new espadrilles, I was grabbed by a bunch of new friends who took me dancing down Carlos III street. I sang songs I didn´t know and drank a strange mixture of coca cola and wine that really helped with my dancing and singing. I only thought fiesta, fiesta fiesta! I lived a freedom I had never known and felt protected and loved. It was great.
Work in the International Press Office of Pamplona
Her long career as a journalist has been very often joined to Sanfermines. She worked 10 years as a writer for the newspaper, “Diario de Navarra” and another 10 for the national news magazine, “Tiempo”. She was also coordinador of the magazine “Navarra Industrial” and acted in a film on Hemingway’s life, playing his nurse. Now Lucinda works in the International Press Office in charge of English translations and helping foreigners with information about what they can see and do in the fiesta. ” We insist on the positive side of the fiesta, and not on the sensational image that some foreign journalists push such as a girl taking off her clothes in the shooting of the rocket that signals the start of the fiesta or that the fiesta is a glorified party-place. Unfortunately much is printed about the darker and much less important part of the fiesta, and those images are what people see in the press. Naturally I respect the freedom of the press, but it´s necessary not to go too far to capture a caption that isn’t representative of Sanfermines.
I’ve never run in the “encierro” or running of the bulls, but I am clear about one thing – we have to protect it. “My heart stops when the bulls begin to run. It is so beautiful and, at the same time, so dangerous….many runners think it´s just a sport and haven´t got the slightest idea what they are doing. I can’t stand it when they cause danger for others, touching the bull or running with their hands on him. If we all work together, the fiesta will continue to be the greatest show on earth. But we have to care for it like the most important treasure of Pamplona”.
Awards from other years
Lucinda Poole is the fifth woman to receive the award “Guiri of the Year” of Sanfermines after Carmen Alicea, (Puerto Rico), two other Americans, Lore Monnig and Catherine Donnell and the Russian, Anna Nelubova.
Lucinda Poole will receive the prize in an act along with previous winners who will share their memories of Sanfermines.
- 2004 – Carmen Alicea (Puerto Rico, Australia)
- 2005 – Lore Monnig ( United States)
- 2006 – Lars Ingvar Jungefors (Sweden)
- 2007 – Manfred Walloschke (Germany)
- 2008 -Massaoud Sbai el Idrissi ( Morocco)
- 2009 – Frank Taylor ( United Kingdom)
- 2010 – Chiyoshi Sugawara (Japan)
- 2011 -John Hemingway ( United States)
- 2012 – Catherine Donnell ( United States)
- 2013 – Jean Louis Douenne (France)
- 2014 – Anna Nelubova (Russia)
- 2015 – Jean-Pierre Gonnord (France)
- 2016 – Tim Pinks (England)
- 2017 – Lucinda Poole (United States)