Guillem Fullana (Asobla [Equatorial Guinea], 1930 - Palma [Mallorca], 1995), who was also known by the name Guillem d'Efak, was a poet, playwright, fiction writer, singer and cultural activist.
When he was very young his father, a colonial civil servant, brought him back to his home in Manacor, Mallorca, where he lived through the drama of the Spanish Civil War. He started to write poetry at the age of sixteen and received the first literary prizes awarded by the Mallorcan press. He frequented literary festivals and in 1956 Josep Maria Llompart published his first collection of poems El poeta i la mar (Poet and Sea), which was influenced by the Generation of '27. He then published El poeta i la mina (Poet and Mine, 1966), fruit of his experience working in Alsace, after which he continued writing poetry, winning the Carles Riba Prize for Poetry in 1966 for his Madona i l'arbre (Madonna and the Tree). Moving between traditional and innovative forms, his poetry shows great vitality in works like Poeta en bicicleta (Poet on Bicycle, 1984) and Capellet de vidre (Glass Bonnet, 1995).
Besides his fictional (La ponentada gran – The Great West Wind) and translating (Ivanhoe by Walter Scott) work, he was a playwright and was notable for the plays he wrote for children, amongst which El dimoni cucarell (Some Sort of Devil) is particularly popular.
In the nineteen-sixties he was a well-known member of the Catalan musical movement known as Nova Cançó. One of his best-known works in this field is Balada d'en Jordi Roca (Ballad of Jordi Roca). Halfway between jazz and traditional Mallorcan music, his songs are still performed by several singers and groups. His cultural activism included his promotion of theatre and music in such emblematic venues as the Cova del Drac in Barcelona.
He died of cancer in 1995 and was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of the Balearic Islands in 2011.
Web page: Francesc Viñas for AELC (Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Documentation and photographs: MESTRE, Bartomeu: Balada d'en Guillem d'Efak (Ballad of Guillem d'Efak). Palma: Documenta Balear, 2010).
Translation: Julie Wark.