Call me Boz.

I teach writing and literature. I love words, the Episcopal liturgy, and Bonaventure Cemetery, the novels of Thomas Wolfe, the films of Krzysztov Kieślowski, and the periodic table of Dmitri Mendeleev. I have visited Monument Valley, the Outer Banks, and the women on death row in North Carolina. I play the piano, did play the bassoon, and play at the mandolin and the flute. I believe in the magic that happens in the glow of the red light, awash in the pungent odor of fixer.

I believe that words are the only means we have to connect with the world and with one another, and my passion is always to find the right one–and to help others do the same.

My name is Vicki Bozzola Derka, and I have been teaching English composition and American literature to students in North Carolina community colleges since 1992. Prior to answering that calling, I served 13 years in the purgatory of retail sales. I have also worked as a disability examiner for Social Security. Here are some additional details about my checkered past:

  • Born February 19, 1953, in Globe, Arizona
  • Arizona state spelling champion 1967
  • Globe High School valedictorian 1971
  • B.A. American history, with highest honors, University of  Arizona, Tucson, 1975
  • Three years’ graduate work in history, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1975-1978
  • M.A. English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992 (Thesis: “The Gift from Language to Mankind”: The Souls of Bartleby, Kurtz, and Gatsby)
  • Member: Phi Beta Kappa (1975 to present)