Paul’s Quarter Life Crisis

Make 'em laugh: Paul McNamara

DOON is hometown to PhD aspirant Paul McNamara, a gifted performance poet who has built this show around a professed ‘Quarter Life Crisis’.

Who says gifted? Not McNamara, a quietly spoken, frank 20-something who studies and tutors at Mary Immaculate College.

But clock his punchy record on stage, his power in front of an audience contrasting with off-duty calm:

A two time All-Ireland Spoken Word Poetry runner-up, he has won the Munster Spoken Word Slam (2016), Limerick’s Got Talent (2015); also the inaugural Yeats’ Tower Slam (2016) sponsored by Poetry Ireland.

He is a former winner of Limerick’s ‘Slamzas’ (2017) and Dublin’s ‘Slam Sunday’ (2017) events. McNamara’s work has been featured on RTE Radio 1, TV3 and Irish TV, at festivals such as Indiependence and published in Sextet, Solstice Sounds and The Stony Thursday Book.

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Making us laugh is McNamara’s favourite achievement: “There is nothing like being able to stand in front of an audience and hold their attention.”

So what’s the crisis, Paul?

“The quarter life crisis was finishing college and arriving into the big bad world. Trying to figure out what to do, what to be, where to go, from choices such as relationships, living with friends or with your parents.

“Where is home? Is it where you went to college or where you live?”

He describes ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ as different performance poems written by himself, strung together with improvised narrative on the past few years of attending festivals, gigs and competitions.

And inevitably, the characters, challenges and situations he has met along the way.

Every word is his own: “A lot of poetry works as performance poetry and vice versa but yes, how you write for performance does have a bearing on the writing”.

#Narrative4, O’Connell Street, April 5 to 7.