Meet the Writers' Workshop Leaders

Mercy Carbonell, Leader

Phillips Exeter Academy

Mercy grew up in Chadds Ford, PA, earned her BA in English from Brown University in 1992, where she played Varsity Squash, studied Literary Theory, Literature and Art, and wrote her honors thesis titled, “The Implications of Language in Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays: A Personal Essay in Feminist Criticism.” Mercy holds a Masters’ in Education from Stanford University where she specialized in teaching writing using the “Harkness” method developed at Phillips Exeter Academy and studied alternative forms of Assessment for Student Writing and Curricular Design.

As a member of the English faculty at Phillips Exeter from 1993-1996 & 2000-present, she has regularly taught the Advanced Senior Creative Writing Workshop as well as writing workshops for Parents of the Academy, Saturday Class on Writing for members of the community and Alumni. Mercy has developed writing workshops for student speakers for the annual MLK, Jr. Day Assembly, directed and co-authored the 25th Anniversary of Title IX Assembly, submitted Art combining Text and Image for the Faculty Installation in the Gallery and has delivered six Meditations to the Academy Community in Phillips Church, one of which was published in Book of Meditations II. From 1997-2000 she taught English and Creative Writing, coached Varsity Field Hockey, Girls’ Squash and Girls’ Lacrosse at Milton Academy in MA. At Phillips Exeter, Mercy is co-Chair of the MLK, Jr. Day Committee, co-Advisor for The Council on Social Justice & Equity and Assistant Girls' Varsity Field Hockey and Girls’ Squash Coach. She is now working as an Assistant Coach for Varsity Girls’ Lacrosse at Portsmouth High School. In 2017, Mercy rejoined the Exeter Summer Program as a Creative Writing Teacher, Mentor Teacher and Coordinator for Harkness Workshops.

In July, she often teams up with poet Sarah Anderson to lead writing workshops in the Anderson's Word Barn in Exeter. In recent years, Mercy served on the Board at Seacoast Outright and still volunteers for Portsmouth Pride. In 2016-2017, she was on Sabbatical in San Francisco where she was doing research on Students in Social Justice Activism, writing and volunteer teaching/tutoring at 826 Valencia Writing Spaces. In 2019, Mercy joined the Advisory Committee at Robinwood Center in Stratham, NH, a farm and non-profit organization to further sustainability, justice, healing and community in the seacoast of NH and Maine.