Meet the Writers' Workshop Leader

Mercy Carbonell, Director
Phillips Exeter Academy

Mercy grew up in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and earned her B.A. in English from Brown University. She holds an M.A. in Education from Stanford University, where she specialized in teaching writing using the Harkness pedagogy developed at Phillips Exeter Academy and studied alternative forms of assessment for student writing workshops and curricular design.

As an educator, writer, and mentor, Mercy values collaborating with and empowering others. She hopes to mobilize unheard voices and uncover buried truths. The workshop methodologies she cultivates are rooted in equity, anti-oppression, deep listening and vulnerable sharing.

During her 26 years at Phillips Exeter Academy, Mercy has been an English teacher, athletics coach and club advisor. She serves on the annual MLK Day planning committee, has co-authored the 25th anniversary of Title IX assembly, directed a student poetry reading addressing gun violence, and commemorated the 50th year of coeducation at Exeter with a student gallery exhibit, "Feminist Bookmaking & Curatorial Activism." Mercy has taught and delivered meditations at Exeter –a written reflection and weekly community gathering in Phillips Church. She has taught the Advanced Senior Creative Writing Workshop as well as workshops for parents of the Academy, alumni and community members. Mercy’s courses have included The Harlem Renaissance, Spring in Love, Queer Literature, and explored Toni Morrison, Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Infinite Jest and Ulysses.

Jenifer Hixson, Guest Artist and Workshop Leader
Senior Director, The Moth 

Jenifer Hixson is a senior director and the co-author of How to Tell a Story: The Essential Guide to Memorable Storytelling from The Moth. She is also one of the hosts of the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour. Each year she asks hundreds of people to identify the significant turning points of their lives – fumbles and triumphs, leaps of faith, darkest hours – and then helps them shape those experiences into story form for the stage. Jenifer says she “falls a little bit in love with each storyteller,” and hopes you will too. In 2000, she launched The Moth StorySLAM, which now has a full-time presence in 26 cities in the U.S., U.K. and Australia and provides more than 6,000 individual storytelling opportunities for storytelling daredevils and loquacious wall flowers alike. Jenifer’s story “Where There's Smoke” has been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, This American Life and was a part of The Moth’s first book: The Moth: 50 True Stories.

Camille Dungy, Featured Speaker and Masterclass Leader
Poet, Editor, Environmental Advocate

Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award. She is also the author of the essay collections Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden (Simon & Schuster, 2023) and Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History (W.W. Norton, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Dungy has also edited anthologies including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, her honors include NEA Fellowships in poetry (2003) and prose (2018), an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and two Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominations. Dungy’s poems have been published in Best American Poetry, The 100 Best African American Poems, the Pushcart Anthology, Best American Travel Writing, and over 30 other anthologies. She is University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University.