We are very saddened to learn of the passing of our dear colleague and friend, the late poet Terrance Cox. Terrance taught for almost thirty years in Music and Dramatic Arts and helmed the first year course DART 1F93 for many, many years. Though he had not been well for a few years and was no longer teaching for the Department and the University we have always kept a very big place in our hearts for him.
Our colleague Gyllian Raby remembers that “Terrance was special and his larger than life persona was a gift. I feel a big Terrance shaped hole in the air of St. Catharines.”
There will be a memorial event at the NAC on Sunday Feb. 8th at 2pm.
Niagara Artists Centre
354 St.Paul Street
St. Catharines, ON L2R 3N2
Phone: 905 641 0331 | Fax: 905 641 4970 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the obituary in the Globe and Mail here.
We are sharing our memories below. If you have any memories you’d like to contribute, please share with us.
Terrance performed on the stage of the then-named Thistle Theatre in Troilus and Cressida in 1975 and Henry IV in 1976, both directed by Professor Emerita Dr. Mary-Jane Miller. He also played the policeman in Peter Feldman’s production of The Good Woman of Setzuan by Brecht and produced in the mid-70s. He played the lawyer in Peter’s production of Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock and he recorded a voice-over for Peter’s production of The Trial adapted from Kafka. Most recently at DART he played Adam in the play Adam and Eve produced in the Studio Theatre and directed by Danielle Wilson.
from Terrance’s page at Poets.ca:
“Terrance Cox writes poems and non-fiction in St Catharines, Ontario, where he also teaches at Brock University as a “general practitioner” in the arts and humanities. His teaching career features stints in secondary, college and university classrooms, in Canada and overseas. Among Cox’s research interests are popular music and locality. Published since 1973 as a journalist, he contributes erudite and amusing columns and articles to regional newspapers and magazines, where appears as well his work as an editor.
Cox has published over 200 poems in Canadian literary journals and anthologies, running the gamut from Antigonish Review to Zygote, stopping en route at most of our lit mags of name and repute. The latest of his published collections is a second “spoken word with music” CD, Simultaneous Translation (2005). It joins in the canon his prize-winning book Radio & Other Miracles (Signature Editions, 2001) and an acclaimed earlier CD, Local Scores (Cyclops Press, 2000). Works-in-progress include the manuscripts West Bank Poems and Civics, Botany & Such.
He is an experienced reader, performing at many and various art gallery, bookstore, cabaret, café, concert, festival, nightclub, pub, radio, shopping mall, television, theatre, university and winery venues in Calgary, Hamilton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Montreal, Ottawa, Peterborough, Saskatoon, St Catharines/Niagara, Toronto, and Winnipeg, 1978-2005. Through Ontario Arts Council programmes, and independently, he has presented a diverse series of poetry workshops in elementary and secondary schools in St Catharines/Niagara, 1982-2005.
Cox’s poems express his experiences. They come from his time of work and travel in Africa and the Middle East; from childhood and family’s past; from over the airwaves and out of recorded grooves. They are of the present in their local particulars; they grow in his own backyard. (author photo by Stephen Dominick)
2002 Niagara Book Prize sponsored by three Niagara daily newspapers & Chapters/Indigo.
2nd Prize, This Magazine’s “Great Canadian Literary Hunt,” 2000.
2nd Prize, Canadian Author’s Association (Niagara Branch) Annual Poetry Contest, 2000.
Co-recipient of Floyd S. Chalmers Creative Award,1982.
(Others as journalist and as academic)
Simultaneous Translation (TMC, distributed by Signature Editions, 2005) ISBN: 0-9738216-0-4, CD recording.
Radio & Other Miracles (Signature Editions, 2001) ISBN: 0-921833-82-2.
Local Scores (Cyclops Press, 2000) ISBN: 1-89417708-8, CD recording.
Books in Print:
Simultaneous Translation Poetry/Spoken Word & Music (TMC, 2005, distributed by Signature Editions) ISBN: 0-9738216-0-4, CD recording, $14.95.
Radio & Other Miracles Poetry (Signature Editions, 2001) ISBN: 0-921833-82-2, $12.95.
Local Scores Poetry/Spoken Word & Music (Cyclops Press, 2000) ISBN: 1-89417708-8, CD recording, $16.95.
Selected Comments From our Community
name: Gail B
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock literature course
your comments: I was one of two ‘mature students’ who took Terrance’s Shakespeare course many years ago. He was charismatic, demanding, soinformed. Everything I have ever learned about theatre stagecraft I learned from him, and it has stayed with me all these years. Every time I see a theatre production in Canada, the U.S., the U. K. I remember Terrance and what he taught us about blocking, design, focus. I think of him every time I attend the theatre, which is a lot. What a legacy he has left so many of us, his students.
name: Peter Smith
when and how did you know Terrance?: taught me in 1978
your comments: I spent one glorious year at Brock in 1978. Terry taught a theatre history class back then that was informative, ranging, political, and a lot of fun.
He smoked Player’s Lights in class – it was allowed – and periodically over the year he switched to a pipe in an attempt to quit smoking. It was ludicrous really but somehow made T Cox sense. He reefed on that pipe with the same intensity he smoked the Players Lights. Over the course of the year Terry and I fell in with one another. Things would start innocently enough at the Mansion and devolve from there. More often than not a bunch of us would wind up at Terry’s pad – an apt. a two minute stagger from the Mansion. We’d listen to Firesign Theatre records, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and we’d laugh a lot, tell stories about the experience of being here. Always engaging, filled with spirit and an enormous side of get up and go. The night before the final exam for Terry’s course I was at his place with a small group of others – we carried on – stayed up til dawn – smoking and talking and howling into the light. After bacon and eggs at the Lancer we made our way up the mountain to the Brock gym where the exam was going down. Along with a whole bunch of other students in geology and god knows what we cracked our papers. Terry was one of the watchers that morning. He passed my desk soon after things got started. I looked up and said, I’m not going to write your exam Terry, I’m going to write a play in these three hours. He said after a moments pause – it better be good. It wasn’t. It was terrible – a scrawl of god knows what. I passed the course and hope this note doesn’t get Terry into trouble posthumously or have the credit removed from my transcript. He was a hale fellow well met – a true aim with a good heart. He brought his entire self to this world. I close with a poem Terry wrote late one howling night… Saskatchewan: skunks, poplar trees, and drive in movies, high point of the universe. RIP Terry Cox and thanks for the joy. You were a mould breaker.
name: Jess Falcioni
location: Thunder Bay
when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor of 1F93
your comments: The DART Department has lost a legend. A man whose lectures will be spoken of forever by his students. Thank you for teaching us about the heart of the play and page to stage. For challenging us to think bigger, while encouraging us. For making us laugh (I’ll never forget the day you jumped on the desk while dramatically reading a monologue, or the day you tripped over the seam in the floor and played it off so well!) And for sharing with us your passion for theatre. You’ve inspired legions of students. Ive kept all the notes from your lectures and use them when I teach workshops. I’ll also never forget your compassion when my Nonno passed away right before exams. You were so kind, caring and understanding. So, thank you. For everything. You are missed.
name: Matthew Craggs
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2002-2003 MUSI1F00
your comments: I hadn’t listened to much more than the radio by the time I attended Brock and took Music and Pop Culture with Terrance Cox. He opened my eyes to a whole world of music with the kind of passion that… well if you’re reading this page, you know the kind of passion he brought to the class. It’s been over 10 years but I often think back fondly of that experience and how it shaped the way I approach not only music, but all culture.
name: Hayley Malouin
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: Student at Brock University
your comments: Still my absolute favourite day of university ever is from first year, when someone asked TCox if he would be coming to the BMT musical. He just smiled and said “I don’t much care for musicals… Anyway.” Ouch! So sassy! What a wonderful, lively and intelligent person.
name: Nick Carney
when and how did you know Terrance?: DART grad, 2011
your comments: My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends, and of course including his Brock family. He was for many, a portal into the DART community teaching within our first years – with his unforgettable tone, respected presence, and passion for the arts. He will be missed and never forgotten.
Terrance Cox, may your spirit soar.
name: Murray Kropf
location: Brock University
when and how did you know Terrance?: Niagara Artists Company and Brock University
your comments: Terrence was one of the first people I met upon moving to St Catharines. He was the President of NAC and I a board member and later VP. Working closely with him I was impressed with his ability to cut through obstructions to deal with issues in a polite yet forceful way. He was a mentor in his ability to deal with serious concerns and have a heartfelt belly laugh in the next moment. A wonderful poet, performer .. and of course that voice!
A truly good man! I’ll miss him.
name: Gregory Armacinski
location: Brock University (Concurrent Education- Biology/Math) int/senior
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2011 Fall-Winter Drama (first year)
your comments: Professor Cox will always be remembered for his vibrant lectures….his lectures demonstrated a true passion for what he felt/believed in. He was one of the most knowledgeable Professors, and his knowledge of every subject was truly shown when he lectured! Thank you for inspiring us all with your knowledge, passion and spirt Professor Cox. Rest in Peace
name: Matthew Royal
location: St Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: He was a colleague in the music dept
your comments: I miss Terrance’s sense of humour (sometimes somewhat gruff) and his eloquent, precise and concise use of the English language. The following quotation from the “Assessment of Grade” section of his notes for MUSI 1F00 illustrates these traits:
“An “F” paper wastes the opportunity presented by the task; through lack of effort, understanding of basic principles and/or skills in their application; it wastes the time of writer, reader and the life of trees felled for it.”
Of course, these same notes, all 217 pages of them, also exemplify something else about Terrance: the work he put in to provide his students with the best possible materials for success; in short, they show how much he cared.
name: Michael Onley
when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year Drama
your comments: I’ll never forget in my first year, first term – I had Professor Cox. He had an incredible ability to captivate the audience by always beginning with his classic one liner, “I’ve got a notion…” It was that one line that would “set the stage” so to speak, toward his reciting and explanations of dramatic theory. I’m thankful for his teaching(s) but more importantly his passion and attitude for life – He will be missed.
name: Kimberley Reich
location: Burlington Ontario
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2004 student of music and pop culture
your comments: Professor Cox was by far the most passionate teacher I’ve ever had. As a huge music lover, I was so excited to see such a class (music and popular culture) was an option. His lectures were a performance every time. The way in which he would stomp across the stage, wave hours arms, drum his fingers, stomp his feet or close his eyes telling us to do the same to truly get lost in a song was impactful. He opened my mind and soul to different genres of music and culture. I never missed a class! I’ve gone on to speak of him since and the impact that he truly had on me and my love for music. He will be remembered fondly, and when I hear certain songs (especially Muddy Waters Mannish Boy-one lecture I will never forget) I will always think of him.
name: Collin Glavac
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year University, Professor
your comments: Professor Terrance Cox fulfilled that image I always had of big university lectures taught by wise sage-like professors. He taught dramatic arts fundamentals to myself and many of my colleagues, initiating our foundations of the subject in first-year. Because of this, his teachings help form the building blocks for our work in the field today. He will be sorely missed.
name: Jonathan van Ekelenburg
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year DART Class, 2003
your comments: Terrance’s first-year class still holds a dear spot in my memories.
Terrance’s bombast and charisma made me excited to attend his class every week, and I learned so much about understanding the workings of a play that still are with me, 12 years later. I remember once he built a small fort out of chairs at the front of the lecture hall… can’t for the life of me remember what the POINT was, but I certainly paid attention. Terrance helped forge the way that I thought about drama, and I will forever be indebted to his memory. Thank you, Terrance. You’ll be missed.
name: Lauren Kennedy
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2002
your comments: I was a TA for his DART1F93 class. He empowered me. He took the ego out of academia. He taught students how to appreciate plays, words, and ideas. He was soft as mouse and resonated like a lion. I am grateful to have learned from him and his lessons.
name: Nerese Richter
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2004-2007, Professor
your comments: I’m deeply saddened to hear of this loss. I remember sitting in my first music course with Prof Cox and thinking “wow, now THAT’S passion.” Every week, I would wait anxiously until I could go to his class again to hear original recordings, learn about music history, and stare in awe at his incredible presentation techniques. He was so engaging, so inspiring that he truly motivated me to pursue music journalism as a career. Thank you, Prof Cox, for being that teacher that all students desire but so few have the honor of encountering. Thank you for your passion.
name: Duncan Hopkins
location: Mons, Belgium
when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock, circa 1987 – B.B.E. 1989
your comments: I had the privilege of being in Terry’s music appreciation class c. 1987. We continued our meetings on a regular basis as he would continually come out to hear my progress as a musician. He then interviewed me for a book about Kenny Wheeler to which he was contributing. We went to a pub in Toronto and had a drink or two and enjoyed our time very much. I was surprised to read his essay later as it included a paragraph about me. He was always very supportive.
Terrance also wrote lyrics to some music I wrote in honour of our mutual friend Terry O’Reilly. I still have his angry and yet poignant words to my otherwise sad song. I have never recorded the two together but in my mind, they go hand in hand.
So sorry to hear of his passing. My deepest sympathy to his family and all those who mourn him.
when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor & Seminar lead.
your comments: When I attended Brock University, I was lucky enough to have TCox as my TA/seminar lead, as well as my professor. He gave me a learning experience I will never forget. I still remember how intimidated I was to see my professor at my first seminar, I was basically shaking in my seat. Yet somehow by the end of that first seminar, I saw him as a completely different character. TCox had become a person I was excited to see every week from that day on. He was one of the most memorable professors I’ve ever had, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.
name: Mallory Muehmer
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor
your comments: I had the absolute honour of being taught by the memorable, Terrance Cox.
I truly believe that it is one thing to teach, but it is entirely different to engage and inspire students. Terrance, thank you for showing us what it means to dedicate your life to making your community a happier and brighter place. Your motivation, engagement and larger than life stories will be a pillar in the Dramatic Arts department at Brock forever.
My condolences to your loved ones.
Thank you for all of your life lessons, both in and outside of the classroom.
name: Danielle Wilson
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: We both taught in the Dramatic Arts Department at Brock. 2006 to present.
your comments: I first met Terrance when I moved to St. Catharines to teach in the Dramatic Arts Department in 2006. I would see him in the hallway when we were on our way to or from teaching a class and he would always take a few moments to ask me how I was doing. I didn’t know him very well, but in 2009, some of his former students and I decided to stage The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain and we asked Terrance if he would play the older version of Adam, with Virginia Reh as Eve. We figured he would probably say no, but to our delight, he accepted and seemed quite excited to get up on the boards. We were a little intimidated at first to give him any acting notes, but it soon became apparent that our fears were unwarranted as he took every note with great care, grace and humility. After the show had finished, we had our cast party around a fire in the back yard and we were discussing the show and acting in general. At one point he said, in his deep, booming voice, something like, “I didn’t do this show because I think I’m any good, or that I should be held up as any sort of example of how to act, I simply did it to challenge myself and put my money where my mouth is.” He had this larger than life presence and energy, and his humility always caught me off guard.
name: Kristopher Kitson
location: Hamilton, Ontario
when and how did you know Terrance?: He was my First year literature Professor.
your comments: I’m at a loss for words to hear of the passing of a great Professor at Brock university, and part of the DART family. Terrance Cox was an amazing Professor, lecturer and person. His passion for theatre, the arts and his students as a whole inspired and will continue to inspire feature drama students of Brock University. My heart goes out to his loved ones! May he rest in peace.
name: Anna MacAlpine
location: Calgary, Alberta
when and how did you know Terrance?: DART/MUSI graduate, class of 2012
your comments: Very saddened to hear of the loss of Terrance Cox. He gave so much to the Brock community and will be greatly missed. I will always remember my first term at Brock, where in the midst of a lecture on medieval theatre, Professor Cox said: “I love speaking Chaucer. It’s like Scottish with a few beers.”
name: Will Webster
location: Victoria BC
when and how did you know Terrance?: Mid 90s, The Club, St. Catharines Ontario
your comments: Terrance was instrumental in helping many young writers in the Niagara Region find their voice. Back in the mid 90s he a major force in helping us blend live poetry with the burgeoning live music scene in the Niagara Region.
I still remember his rumble, his precise love of words, and his nonchalant delivery.
He would just sit there in front of the room and without speaking a word command the respect of everyone listening. We were always happy when his large frame filled the entry way. It meant we were going to have an exceptional night.
Thanks for sharing Terrance.
name: Ashley Giorno
when and how did you know Terrance?: first year music professor 2009-2010
your comments: I had the honour of having this gentleman as my professor for music back in my first year of university at Brock and he made me look at music in a totally different way than I already did and for that I am grateful. I may not have known him personally but he was very good at what he did and very passionate about what he taught to the next generations. One thing I’ll never forget was him explaining the song “Every Breath You Take” by The Police/Sting was actually a stalker song and how much he cringed every time he would go to weddings and hear it being played. His dance moves are another thing I’ll never forget. Cheers Professor Cox and thank you.
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock University, 2003-2007/and he lived on my street
your comments: I can remember in my first year theatre course being so blown away by his passion for teaching. His intensity was unmatched! I can remember one time, to make a dramatic point, he leapt from the floor up onto a chair very suddenly with total confidence he’d land it! He inspired everyone with his tenacity!
name: Brandon Cox
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2005-06
your comments: Terrance Cox remains one of my most favourite teachers of my life so far. His kindness, intelligence, and passion for his work was infectious and full of an honest energy that is rarely found in todays modern classrooms. I often found myself caring less about what mark I would receive on a paper, and more about whether or not Terrance would be happy with my work, or if my work would hold any meaning to him. His opinion mattered to me, which often happens when you truly respect the intelligence and opinions of anyone in your life. Above all, Terrance had an amazing sense of humour, and was a rare fireball of energy and emotion that one can only be pleased they were lucky enough to be around at the time.
I will truly miss you Mr. Terrance Cox.
name: Richard Varty
when and how did you know Terrance?: He was my professor in first year (1F93).
your comments: I found myself writing less and less in my notebook about plot points and history but more of his personal views. His passion for the written word and the power it held was and remains to be an inspiration. One of the quotes that keeps coming back into my life from his class: “Comic thought is radical thought, laughter is infectious, we eventually become subversives and have the power to bring down society.”
name: Karen Elizabeth McMichael
location: Toronto, Ontario
when and how did you know Terrance?: First year dramatic literature
your comments: I still have the first essay I ever wrote for Terrence’s class: a defense of the argument that Hamlet was not, in fact, a tragedy, as it is traditionally taught (and as he was teaching it). It was one of the only times in my academic career that directly disagreeing with the instructor was treated as serious academic discourse rather than petulant contrariness (which I am, admittedly, prone to; I do love playing devil’s advocate). I kept the final copy of that essay because Terrence had written his commentary across every page, and the backs of most of the pages — it must have taken him hours to grade that single paper. What impressed me most was that even though he disagreed with me, he took my writing seriously, and spoke as though I was a peer, not just a somewhat pretentious first year student with delusions of academic grandeur. Over the years since, I have found out just how rare that ability — to teach without preaching or condescension — is, and Terrence Cox was the master of it. His big heart was capable of forging a connection with every one of the hundreds of students who passed through his classes every year, and I know that even people who didn’t stay with the dramatic arts program held on to and told their “Terrence Cox stories” for years afterwards.
name: JF Amprimoz
location: St Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: My seminar lead for ENGL 1F00
your comments: I unfortunately only had one course where I interacted with Terry, when he ran my seminar for a Great Books course required by the accounting department, I’d presume for weeding purposes. Through his kind and brilliantly insightful discussion and comments, I learned much of the language analysis and use skills I apply today.
name: Stephanie Jones
location: Niagara/New York
when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock/early 90’s to present
your comments: While studying at Brock in the early 90’s the perfromance theatre students mouted a production of Peer Gynt. As it was directed by Glenys, and her wonderful imagination, I played helf of the Troll Queen (The Queen had two heads), Terrance played the voice of the Great Boyg (the shapeless, unconquerable troll, representing the riddle of existence). He was the Boyg, and showed us all how to command a role with simplicity and truth. For
Terrance had a mellifuous voice, a generous spirit, a commanding presence, a sharp mind and he was, really, a over-all great man. I will miss him, the artistic community will miss him.
name: Caitlin Popek
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2006-2011
your comments: Terrance not only helped me dig into scripts and really discover them, he helped me teach others to do so too. He truly wanted his students to succeed and he was so much fun to listen to in lectures, he brought the plays to life! I had a wonderful time learning from him as a student and a TA. He will be missed!
name: Christine Dief
when and how did you know Terrance?: 2002-2006, 2009-2010
your comments: Like many, I’ve also had the pleasure to be taught by this wonderful man. He was so passionate in his lectures and his love for literature was contagious.
I have also had the pleasure to work along side him in a Teaching Assistant role, and I am truly grateful for such a wonderful experience. His brilliance and his passion will truly be missed.
RIP Terrance Cox, and my condolences to your loved ones. Thank you for all you have done.
name: Amanda McDonnell
location: St. Catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor DART 1F93
your comments: T.Cox was one of the coolest Profs in DART. He can in that lecture/seminar and would always have great stories and incites about the plays we studied.
He helped me, and probably many more DART students, make that transition from a high schooler to a University Student a smooth and exciting one. I will always think of him fondly. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
name: Jordan Pereira
location: st. catharines
when and how did you know Terrance?: First Year professor
your comments: He set the stage for Drama and poetic articulation. I had been meaning to visit him at some point, I guess now I’ll never get the chance. What an impact he has had. May he rest in peace, discussing verbosities with Aristophanes and the like. Condolences and warm sentiments to his family and close friends.
location: Fergus, Ontario
when and how did you know Terrance?: Professor at Brock
your comments: TCox, as he was fondly called by many, was one of my first professors at Brock University. It was in his class that I met my first “uni friend”! We remain friends to this day after spending a legendary semester in Professor Cox’s first-year drama course. After this, I also took his music and popular culture course, which led me to have a much deeper appreciation for early jazz and Elvis music in particular. My fondest memory of TCox was knowing that he cared about his students; he remembered my name in a lecture hall of hundreds and always took time to say hello and ask me how I was doing.
Terrence went the extra mile for his students and was influential in the lives of so many. He will be greatly missed.
name: Marcel Stewart, class of 2007
when and how did you know Terrance?: Brock University – 2003-2007
your comments: The first time I met Terrence I was wearing a Liverpool soccer jersey.
Unbeknownst to me, Terrence was a huge Manchester United fan. When he saw me, he stopped what he was doing and said, “Is that a fashion statement or do you actually support them?” To which I responded, “Oh, I am a big L’Pool fan” and he followed up with, “I’m truly sorry for you…”
I’ll never forget that.
If you have memories you would like to share about Terrance, please get in touch with us.