Dr Lesel Dawson

Dr Lesel Dawson is a Senior Lecturer in English 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 a collaborative animated film on children’s bereavement and creativity with Julia Samuel MBE, Gary Andrews and Victoria Tolchard (all of whom are Good Grief Fest Facilitators).

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 one of the organisers of the Good Grief Festival.


Lost Property: Therapeutic Creativity and the Stuff of Grief

Ruby Wax in Conversation with Julia Samuel

Every Family Has a Story: Julia Samuel Virtual Book Launch

Children, Grief + Creativity

Robert Macfarlane: The Poetry + Music of Loss

What’s Your Grief? Models + Theories of Grief

The Superhero’s Guide to Grief

Raynor Winn on The Salt Path and The Wild Silence

Remember Me Well

Empty Bed Blues: The Death of a Life Partner

My Grief Story

David Kessler: Finding Meaning – The Sixth Stage of Grief

Am I Grieving Right?

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


Ask Julia – The Death of a Child

The Healing Power of Nature in Grief

What Harry Potter Teaches us about Grief

Nikesh Shukla on Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home

Natasha Sackey: Unlocking Grief Through Movement

Sasha Bates (c) Dolly Clew

Sasha Bates: Languages of Loss

Facilitator Jane Harris

Jane Harris: When Language Fails – Grieving Creatively

Reflections on the Death of a Partner

The Grief Gift: Finding Meaning + Purpose After Loss

Victoria Tolchard: Grieving Through Art

Simon Bray: Telling Your Grief Story

Reflections on the Death of a Sibling

Juliet Rosenfeld: The Difference Between Grief + Mourning

Julia Samuel: Creative Psychotherapy Tools for Grief

Gill Hammond: Conscious Goodbyes

Cathy Rentzenbrink: The Long Journey to Grief

Reflections on the Death of a Parent

Liz Gleeson bio pic

Liz Gleeson: What Grief Does to the Body

R Neimeyer bop pic

Robert Neimeyer: Finding Meaning in Grief

Ask Julia – The Death of a Life Partner

Finding a Language for Grief, image of Josh

Julia Samuel on The Death of a Child

Siddharth Shanghvi: Grieving Multiple Losses 

Janie Brown: Finding Hope at the End of Life

Finding Joy with Gary Andrews

Grief in Literature

Grief in Shakespeare

Grief in Shakespeare