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.


What’s Your Grief? Models + Theories of Grief

Robert Macfarlane: The Poetry + Music of Loss

The Superhero’s Guide to Grief

David Kessler: Finding Meaning – The Sixth Stage of Grief

Pillar 8 – Focusing

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

Pillar 3 – Ways to Express Emotion

David Kessler – May 25th 19:00-20:00

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

R Neimeyer bop pic

Robert Neimeyer: Finding Meaning in Grief

Liz Gleeson bio pic

Liz Gleeson: What Grief Does to the Body

Julia Samuel: Creative Psychotherapy Tools for Grief

Julia Samuel on the Death of a Life Partner

Finding a Language for Grief, image of Josh

Julia Samuel on the Death of a Child