Dr Lesel Dawson is Associate Professor in Literature and Culture at the University of Bristol, specialising in grief, Renaissance literature and the history of the emotions. She’s leading a research project on Creative Grieving and writing a book that explores how art and the imagination can enable the bereaved to express and process their loss.

The book will draw on insights from psychotherapists, bereavements councillors and art therapists as well as artists, photographers, directors and writers who have turned to creative projects as a means of expressing and processing their grief.

As part of this project, Lesel is making two collaborative animated films on children’s bereavement and creativity with Julia Samuel MBE, Gary Andrews and Victoria Tolchard (all of whom are Good Grief Festival speakers).

Lesel is the author of Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern Literature and the co-editor of Revenge and Gender from Classical to Renaissance Literature. She also wrote the screenplay for the short fiction film, Lost Property, co-directed by Jimmy Hay and Natasha Rosling.

Lesel is on the Board of Directors of ‘Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’ and is the Arts and Culture Lead of the Good Grief Festival.


Sat 3rd Dec - 3:00 pm

Family Portraits: How Families Are Transformed by Grief (LIVE)

Sat 3rd Dec - 9:00 am

Grieving Complicated Relationships

Sat 3rd Dec - 9:00 am

Every Family Has a Story: Julia Samuel Virtual Book Launch

Fri 28th Oct - 6:30 pm

Book Launch: When Words Are Not Enough (LIVE EVENT)

Sat 29th Oct - 9:00 am

Friendship, Memory + Grief: Making The Guy in the Luggage Rack

Thu 5th May - 12:00 pm

Lost Property: Therapeutic Creativity and the Stuff of Grief

Mon 2nd May - 12:00 pm

Children, Grief + Creativity

Sat 30th Oct - 3:15 pm

What’s Your Grief? Models + Theories of Grief

Sat 30th Oct - 7:15 pm

Robert Macfarlane: The Poetry + Music of Loss

Sat 30th Oct - 5:45 pm

The Superhero’s Guide to Grief

Thu 1st Jan -

David Kessler: Finding Meaning – The Sixth Stage of Grief

Thu 21st Oct - 7:00 pm

Pillar 8 – Focusing

Tue 22nd Jun - 7:00 pm

Pillar 1 – Relationships with Others (Including Those Who Have Died) 22 June

Tue 20th Jul - 7:00 pm

Pillar 3 – Ways to Express Emotion

Tue 25th May - 7:00 pm

David Kessler – May 25th 19:00-20:00

Thu 1st Jan -

Julia Samuel on The Guilt Monster: Grief’s Complicated Sidekick

Sat 3rd Dec - 9:00 am

Siddharth Shanghvi: Grieving Multiple Losses 

R Neimeyer bop pic
Thu 1st Jan -

Robert Neimeyer: Finding Meaning in Grief

Liz Gleeson bio pic
Thu 1st Jan -

Liz Gleeson: What Grief Does to the Body

Thu 1st Jan -

Julia Samuel: Creative Psychotherapy Tools for Grief

Sat 3rd Dec - 9:00 am

What Harry Potter Teaches us about Grief

Thu 1st Jan -

Julia Samuel on the Death of a Life Partner

Finding a Language for Grief, image of Josh
Thu 1st Jan -

Julia Samuel on the Death of a Child