Sven Birkerts
Director, writing seminars; Editor, Bennington College, Vermont

Sven Birkerts is the former director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He is the author of The Gutenberg Elegies, and, more recently, Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age (2015) and The Other Walk: Essays (2011).

Written by Sven Birkerts

Photo by Carmen Jiménez/EyeEm/Getty

Meaning and the good life
On serendipity

A decades-long conversation between friends about books, photography and life, exploring what it is to know, to look, to see

Sven Birkerts & Christopher Benfey

Photo by Ben Hupfer/Gallery Stock

Beauty and aesthetics
The unearned gift

How does it feel when writer’s block finally gives way, and what is it that brings back the grace of creation?

Sven Birkerts

Seamus Heaney in 1996. Photo by Martine Franck/Magnum Photos

Last words

As we mourn the poet, do we not mourn the loss of what he had in his keeping: a way of living that served us for aeons?

Sven Birkerts

Illustration by Thomas Danthony

Consciousness and altered states
The art of attention

The peculiar vividness of the world becomes clear when we slow down and attend, learning to see all things anew

Sven Birkerts