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Online Event: Katherine Rundell on John Donne

Katherine Rundell
In this FREE event for Faber Members, to celebrate the publication of Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, writer Katherine Rundell discusses her new biography of the man best known as a metaphysical poet, but who is so much more.

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7:00 pm
About the Event

To celebrate the publication of Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne, writer Katherine Rundell discusses her new biography of the man best known as a metaphysical poet, but who is so much more. She will be in conversation with writer, journalist and broadcaster Nicolette Jones.

Sometime religious outsider and social disaster, sometime celebrity preacher and establishment darling, John Donne was incapable of being just one thing. In his myriad lives he was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, a priest, an MP – and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English language. Along the way he converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, was imprisoned for marrying a sixteen-year-old girl without her father’s consent; struggled to feed a family of ten children; and was often ill and in pain. He was a man who suffered from black surges of misery, yet expressed in his verse many breathtaking impressions of electric joy and love.

‘Crackling with gusto and sympathetic intelligence, Super-Infinite places John Donne fairly and squarely in his own times, while making those times feel contiguous with our own. We meet all his closely entangled selves – wit, poet, lover, husband, soldier, priest – and all of them are cleverly drawn, creating a portrait in which closely observed details are ingeniously set against a background of long perspectives.’ Andrew Motion

‘Katherine Rundell makes Donne come alive as a remarkable and extraordinary and almost boundless human being. His life was one of despair and joy, the sacred and the profane, deep love and pain, and this book is filled with such infectious passion and fascinating detail that it shines like its subject. A triumph.’ Matt Haig

Nicolette Jones is a writer, journalist and literary critic who has been the children’s books reviewer of the Sunday Times for more than two decades. A Royal Literary Fund Fellow and a nominee for the 2012 Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding service to the world of children’s books, she is a frequent chair of literary events and an experienced judge of book prizes ranging from the Orange (now Women’s) Prize for Fiction to Booktrust’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Her latest book, The American Art Tapes: Voices of Twentieth-Century Art (Tate Publishing, Sept 2021) is her tribute to a year in the 1960s in which her father, the late artist and teacher John Jones, interviewed more than 100 US  artists, and it includes 20 edited interviews with artists from Marcel Duchamp to Yoko Ono.

Image credit: Nina Subin

What to Expect

Our online events take place via Zoom and last up to one hour.

  • You will be emailed the link for the event the day before the event. If you haven’t received it by the morning of the event, please forward your confirmation email to
  • You can email your questions in in advance to or ask them via the Q&A function on the night, although we are unable to guarantee which questions, if any, will be covered due to time constraints.
  • When you book for this event, you will receive an email confirmation along with a promotional code to use on our website for 20% off Super-Infinite.
About the Author

Katherine Rundell is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Her bestselling books for children, including Rooftoppers, The Good Thieves and The Wolf Wilder, have been translated into more than thirty languages and have won multiple awards. Rundell is also the author of a book for adults, Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise, and writes occasionally for the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and the New York Times.

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About the Author
Katherine Rundell
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Katherine Rundell

From a standout scholar, a sparkling and very modern biography of John Donne: the poet of love, sex, and death.