The Galley Club

Graeme Hawley — The Joy Of Spines

Tuesday, 6 February 2018, at The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.

The Joy of Spines

London Première. 

“If you have been interested in anything, ever, you will find it here.”

Juxtaposing the hilarious with the moving, this show received 4-star reviews when performed for a week at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has now received 5-star accolades from our publishing community who saw this inspirational performance for the first time in London on this historic stage.


Right in the heart of Edinburgh are 120 miles of underground shelves that store the National Library of Scotland’s collection of 26 million publications on those shelves. Graeme Hawley is responsible for over 14 million of these things, most of them with spines. In this rapid-fire slideshow of hundreds of those spines, Graeme manages to not only tell the story of one of Europe’s largest libraries, but shines a light on the astonishing world in which we live.

General Collections Manager at the Library, Graeme presented this unique slide show and found poem, comprised entirely of book spines. Amusing, thought-provoking, and unexpectedly moving.

Graeme Hawley is a Chartered Librarian and Manager of the National Library of Scotland’s general collection, with a team of curators and assistants who are bringing to life the 20th and 21st century UK published collections of the NLS through the excellent work they do.

Outside work, he is a poetry slam champion, performance poet, poet generally, and in a band called ’56n’. They released their first album, Sleevenotes, in February 2014.


Seen by over a thousand people so far, this is the first London performance.

See and like the photos on our Facebook page.

What others say:


Search #joyofspines on Twitter for what others thought…

More information can be found at:

Twitter:  @colonpress   #joyofspines



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