About Briony Goffin
Briony Goffin
Briony’s background: Briony grew up in Wiveliscombe in Somerset: In 1997 she moved to Cardiff where she gained her BSc in Psychology and her MA in The Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing. She is now a full-time lecturer and writer. She lives in Cardiff and works in and between South Wales and the South West of England.

Briony in nutshell: Briony Goffin is an experienced writer, tutor and facilitator. She is Writer-in-Residence at Whitchurch Hospital (a psychiatric hospital in North Cardiff), Literary Editor of international arts magazine, Blown, and lecturer in Creative Writing at Cardiff University. In addition to general creative writing, Briony leads specialist courses on ‘Creative Writing for Vulnerable and Marginalised Adults’ and ‘Creative Writing Outside the Classroom’ for postgraduate students and lecturing staff in medical sociology and the humanities. She has been teaching writing in academic, community and healthcare contexts since 2002. She has published widely on the art of teaching creative writing and supporting the emergent writer to fulfil their creative potential.

Briony’s own writing practice: Briony’s own writing takes the form of the lyrical essay, which laces together autobiographical fragments, ideas and reflections on the moments and encounters that shape our interior and exterior worlds. Briony also has a keen interest in the ‘list’ as a means of developing self-expression, self-awareness and of cataloguing experiences, images, sensations, associations and memories. Briony has taken this interest into the workshop, as well as it being an aesthetic that shapes much of her own personal practice


workshops in
creative writing &
the visual arts

creative writing
workshops for artists
& art students

creative writing
workshops in
museums & galleries

Some Recent Publications

Goffin, Briony. “Writing Loops.” In Gillie Bolton, Victoria Field, and Kate Thompson, eds., Writing Routes: A Resource Handbook of Therapeutic Writing. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011.
This piece looks at the potential written repetition as means to overcoming emotional, intellectual and socially motivated blocks in journal writing

Goffin, Briony. “Writing as Evolution.” In Gillie Bolton, Victoria Field, and Kate Thompson, eds., Writing Works: A Resource Handbook for Therapeutic Writing. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.
This piece looks at the creative writing group and a simple creative writing exercise that has the potential to facilitate fresh perception of personal circumstances and renewed sense of well-being in conditions of loss and change.

Goffin, Briony. “Altered Gaze: An exchange between the written and visual arts in the quest for a new clarity of image.” Writing in Education. 48 (summer 2009): 29-33.
This piece looks at the creative possibilities associated with interdisciplinary collaboration. Specifically, I was interested in how, by experimenting with different modes of expression, by moving away from our natural medium, we can facilitate an altered gaze with which to view our subject or narrative. By experiencing our ideas as alternative embodiments, fresh perceptions can ensue and new work can follow. This is explored from the perspective of the writer and visual artist but includes reflections on some of the performance arts as well. As a writer and creative writing tutor, I was particularly struck by how recreating a textual image as a visual entity can transform our perception of an idea and extend the thinking around our own practice.

Goffin, Briony. “With thanks.” Blown Magazine. 2 (autumn-winter 2010): 32.
This piece was a creative response to the literary/academic convention of ‘acknowledgments’, expressed in list form. It is part of a larger scale project exploring the notion ‘of tribute.’ This project has no grand or political agenda. My only conscious desire is to bring into the public domain, via various modes of expression / art forms / surfaces, and within various spaces, the small (possibly imperceptible or, in the very least, overlooked) objects, moments and encounters that have impacted upon me in some way, and provide them with some exposure and status.

Davidson, G. Williams, K. Grimstead, I. and Goffin, B. "TXT2 - Art on Interaction and Conversation." Proceedings of European Meeting on Systems and Cybernetic Research (EMSCR2010), University of Vienna, April 6-9, 2010.
This piece of research came out of an interdisciplinary collaboration involving an artist, anthropologist, computer scientist and writer, in which we looked at the text message as means of interpersonal communication, mode of self-expression, provocation, love token and art object. As a team, we have since been granted Beacons funding to continue this research.

In Memory of Balloon Girl’ (Publication Launch, 20th November, St Davids Hall, Cardiff)
In the last few years, Briony has been invited to work with several visual artists, producing creative text that responds to and/or lies in relation to their work. Most recently worked with performance artist, Kathryn Ashill, on a piece called In Memory of Balloon Girl. Briony responded to the live performance in which Kathryn, in a white dress and 30 candy-coloured balloons tied to her arms, ascended and leapt from a 150 year-old Cedar in Cathays Cemetery, yards away from ‘Balloon Girl’s’ grave. The performance took place 115 years, to the day, after Louisa Maud Evans’ body was washed ashore at Nash, a few days after her fateful jump from a hot air balloon over the Bristol Channel.


Briony’s work is also available to see in three-dimensions all around the courtyard of the new cardiac building at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset. The writing was generated from workshops that she led with medical and clerical staff at the hospital, during her residency in 2006.

Coming up

The Whitchurch Project Publication Launch in 2012
Briony has been involved in a 4-year writing residency at Whitchurch Hospital, formerly known as Cardiff Asylum, in North Cardiff. This is a creative writing project that has sought to collate and preserve people's impressions and experiences of Whitchurch Hospital as, ward by ward, it has been closing down, to be replaced by a more modern mental health provision in Llandough. The resulting publication due out in 2012 will create a textual mosaic of perceptions of the ‘world’ of Whitchurch, to include written fragments from patients, staff, visitors and members of the local community. The project is jointly funded by Literature Wales (formerly Academi) and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.