HATCH, Ronald B.




Author Tags: Essentials 2010, Literary Criticism, Publishing, Translation

In 2014, the Association of Book Publishers of BC announced Ron Hatch and his Ronsdale Press imprint was the recipient of its annual Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award. Editor and publisher Ron Hatch is also an author.

QUICK REFERENCE ENTRY:

In 1993, in response to a B.C. government decision to allow logging in two-thirds of the old growth forest in Clayoqout Sound, more than 12,000 people attended blockades on Vancouver Island, resulting in more than 850 arrests. It was the largest collective act of peaceful civil disobedience in Canadian history.

That summer of protest and its legal aftermath are the subjects for Clayoquot & Dissent (1994), edited by Ron Hatch, with essays by Tzeporah Berman, Maurice Gibbons, Gordon Brent Ingram, Christopher Hatch and Loÿs Maingon. These essayists reveal the lack of a scientific basis for forestry decisions, explain why Canada’s forests continue to be destroyed, and propose alternatives for conservation. The first logging blockades in Canada had occurred in the same region, on Meares Island, in 1984.

Clayoquot blockades received world attention when the Australian rock group Midnight Oil gave a concert in the protestors’ “peace camp.” But the logging company, Macmillan Bloedel (MB) in the short term, won the fight, with the support of the courts.

“The whole experience has deepened the sense of what we have to fight against,” said Ron Hatch, a UBC professor. “We discovered during the trials that the RCMP had been giving information to Macmillan Bloedel on a daily basis. The police, wittingly or unwittingly, were aligning themselves with MB. At the same time, you begin to realize how much the court system is slanted towards the logging companies. We soon found ourselves fighting the courts instead of fighting MB. The courts took the heat off Macmillan Bloedel and the province paid for the process. By the time the sentencing was over, the process didn’t satisfy anybody except Macmillan Bloedel. The judges were unhappy, the protestors were unhappy, and the general public was unhappy. The courts failed to understand that civil disobedience could be done, as Martin Luther King said, ‘lovingly,’ with respect for the law one is breaking.”

Hatch pleaded not guilty to criminal contempt and was sentenced to 20 days under electronic surveillance, 25 community hours and probation for the rest of the year. “On the day of my sentencing, I tried to be calm and logical. But I was really angry. We were never allowed to justify our actions. Given the sort of charge it is, the judges believe it’s possible to infer your motives. At the time of our trial in Victoria, we flew over environmental planner Brent Ingram from UBC to speak about old growth forests. He’s an internationally recognized expert but the judge decided he couldn’t offer evidence. The only time we were allowed to say anything of substance was at our sentencing.”

UNESCO made Clayoquot Sound into a World Biosphere Reserve in 2000. First Nations timber companies now control licences for 90,000 hectares of its forest, including old-growth valleys.


FULL ENTRY:

According to the UBC English Department...

"Ronald Hatch completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 1969, with a dissertation on eighteenth century social history and the poetry of George Crabbe. Previously he had studied at the University of British Columbia, completing a double Honours degree in English and Philosophy and a Masters degree, with his thesis on the gothic literature of the eighteenth century. He joined the UBC English Department in 1969 as Assistant Professor and became Associate Professor in 1974. In 1979-80, he was Visiting Professor at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. In 1989-90 he was Visiting Professor at the University of Erlangen/Nuremberg. And again in 1997, he was invited to be Visiting Professor at the University of Chemnitz, where he introduced a program in Canadian Studies.

"Dr. Hatch's teaching and research interests lie in eighteenth-century British Literature and in Canadian literature. He has published a book on George Crabbe (Crabbe's Arabesque: Social Drama in the Poetry of George Crabbe) and numerous articles on the literature of the eighteenth century. In Canadian literature he has published on the fiction of Mavis Gallant. He has supervised graduate students in the areas of eighteenth-century literature, Canadian literature and postcolonial literature. He regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in both the eighteenth century and Canadian literature.

"In 1990, Dr. Hatch became the publisher of Ronsdale Press, a literary press that publishes some eight to ten books each year, specializing in Canadian poetry, fiction, belles lettres and children's literature. He took over the press from Margaret Fridel when it was called Cacanadadada Press. As the publisher, he edits the work of many Canadian writers. Recently he prepared a collection of Marie-Claire Blais's short fiction in an English translation, and provided an introduction. He is also the editor of The Judge's Wife: Memoirs of a British Columbia Pioneer (2002), a memoir that covers the period from 1860 to 1906, and is one of the earliest memoirs by a woman in BC. He has co-translated a number of Korean poetry books, including the anthology Modern Korean Poetry, Sowol Kim's Fugitive Dreams, and Yong-un Han's Love's Silence. In his publishing capacity, he has also been responsible for the production of the annual English Department Sedgewick Lecture.

"He is a member of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Northwest Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. He was formerly Secretary-Treasurer of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English. He is also on the executive of the Association of BC Book Publishers and is a member of the Association of Canadian Publishers. He has a listing in Canada's Who's Who. Dr. Hatch has travelled and lectured extensively in Europe, in particular in France, Germany and Poland."

[UBC English Department, 2002]

BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS:

BOOKS
(a) Authored

* Crabbe's Arabesque: Social Drama in the Poetry of George Crabbe (Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univ. Press, 1976), 284 pp.


(b) Edited

* Clayoquot & Dissent, edited by Ronald B. Hatch, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1994.

* Modern Korean Verse in Sijo Form, selected & translated by Jaihiun Kim, edited by Ronald B. Hatch, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1997.

* A Second Earth: Poems Selected and New by Harold Enrico, edited and with an Afterword by Ronald B. Hatch, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1997.

* Fugitive Dreams: Poems by Sowol Kim, selected and translated by Jaihiun Kim & Ronald B. Hatch, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1998.

* Love's Silence & Other Poems by Yong-Un Han, translated by Jaihiun Kim & Ronald B. Hatch with a foreword by Jaihiun Kim & Ronald B. Hatch, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1999.

* The Judge's Wife: Memoirs of a British Columbia Pioneer, edited by Ronald B. Hatch, introduction by Jean Barman, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2002.


(c) Chapters

* "Mavis Gallant and the Creation of Consciousness," in Present Tense, ed. John Moss, Toronto: NC P, 1985: 45-71.

* "Chinatown Ghosts in the White Empire, in Intercultural Studies: Fictions of Empire, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag C. Winter, 1996: 193-210.

* "Afterword" to Harold Enrico's A Second Earth: Poems Selected and New, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1997: 175-84.

* "The Clayoquot Show Trials" in Clayoquot & Dissent, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1994: 105-153.

* "W.J. Stankiewicz and the Examined Self," in Holding One's Time in Thought: The Political Philosophy of W.J. Stankiewicz, Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 1997: 281-300.

* "The Art of Marie-Claire Blais" - Introduction to The Exile & The Sacred Travellers, Vancouver: Ronsdale, 2000: vii-xviii.

* "Margaret Atwood, the Land, and Ecology," in Margaret Atwood: Works and Impact, ed. Reingard M. Nischik, Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2000: 168-189. Republished in paperback by Camden House & House of Anansi, 2002.


JOURNALS

* "This Will Never Do," RES ns 21 (Feb. 1970): 56-62, Cited in R. D. Altick's The Art of Literary Research, rev. ed. (1975): 274-75.

* "George Crabbe, the Duke of Rutland and the Tories," RES ns 24 (Nov. 1973): 429-43.
Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism, volume 121.

* "Heathcliff's 'Queer End' and Schopenhauer's Denial of the Will," Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 1 (Winter 1974): 49-64. Reprinted in Heathcliff, in the series "Major Literary Characters," edited by Harold Bloom, New York: Chelsea House, 1993: 92-105.

* "George Crabbe and the Tenth Muse," Eighteenth-Century Studies 7 (Spring 1974): 274-94.

* "David Hartley: Freewill and Mystical Associations," Mosaic 7 (Summer 1974): 29-39.

* "Joseph Priestley: An Addition to Hartley's Observations," Journal of History of Ideas 36 (July-Sept. 1975): 548-50.

* "'Philosophy' and 'Science,'" Notes and Queries ns 22 (Jan. 1975): 24-25.

* "George Crabbe and the Workhouses of the Suffolk Incorporations," Philological Quarterly (Summer 1975): 689-97. Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism, volume 121.

* "William Smellie: Philosopher of Natural History," Studies in Scottish Literature 12 (Jan. 1975): 159-80.

* "The Three Stages of Mavis Gallant's Short Fiction," in The Canadian Fiction Magazine 28 (1978): 92-114. Reprinted in Short Story Criticism (Detroit: Gale, 1990).

* "Mavis Gallant: Returning Home," Atlantis 4.1 (Autumn 1978): 95-102.

* "Edith Wharton: A Forward Glance," in GRENA (Aix-en-Provence, 1981): 1-10 [Journal for American Studies in France].

* "Mavis Gallant and the Expatriate Character," in Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Kanada-Studien 1 (1981): 133-42.

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1982 in University of Toronto Quarterly 52.4 (Summer 1983): 343-58 (with S. Djwa).

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1983 in University of Toronto Quarterly 53.4 (August 1984): 342-59 (with S. Djwa)

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1984 in University of Toronto Quarterly 54.4 (August 1985): 347-63.

* "Towards Transcendence: The Poetry of Ted Hughes, Margaret Atwood, and Judith Fitzgerald" in West Coast Review 19.4 (April 1985): 47-59.

* "Narrative Development in the Canadian Historical Novel," in Canadian Literature 110 (Fall 1986): 79-96.

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1985 in University of Toronto Quarterly 56.1 (Fall 1986): 29-45.

* "Beyond Permanence: The Poetry of J. Michael Yates and Robin Blaser," West Coast Review 20.4 (April 1986): 3-10.

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1986 in University of Toronto Quarterly 57.1 (Fall 1987): 33-50. Part of this has been reprinted in Contemporary Literary Criticism, ed. Daniel Marowski & Roger Matuz (Gale Research).

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1987 in University of Toronto Quarterly 58.1 (Fall 1988): 32-49. The section on Gwendolyn MacEwan's Afterworlds is reprinted in Contemporary Literary Criticism, ed. Daniel G. Marowski & Roger Matuz (Detroit: Gale, 1989).

* "Charles Churchill and the Poetry of 'Charter'd Freedom,'" in English Studies in Canada 15.3 (September 1989): 277-87.

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1988 in University of Toronto Quarterly, 59.1 (Fall 1989): 32-51.

* "Temporality, Narrative Irony and the Loss of Freedom in La Princesse de Cleves," in Transactions of the Northwest Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 8 (1989-1990): 1-11.

* "Mavis Gallant and the Fascism of Everyday Life," in the special "Mavis Gallant" issue of Essays on Canadian Writing, ed. E.D. Blodgett, 42 (Winter 1990): 9-56.

* "Change and the Concept of History in the Canadian Historical Novel," in Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 38 (Heft 1 1990): 49-57. Reprinted in Tensions Between North and South: Studies in Modern Commonwealth Literature and Culture, ed. Edith Mettke (Königshausen and Neumann: Würzburg, 1990): 19-27.

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1989 in University of Toronto Quarterly 60.1 (Fall 1990): 24-42.

* "Poetry," in "Letters in Canada" for 1990 in University of Toronto Quarterly 60.1 (Fall 1991): 50-69.

* "Lordship and Bondage: Women Novelists of the Eighteenth Century," in REAL 8 (1992): 231-242 [Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature].

* "Chinese Canadian Writing: The Silence of Gum San," in Multiculturalism in North America and Europe, Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 1995: 169-179.

* "A Self-Less Enlightenment: The Eighteenth-Century Theatre of Multiple Identity," in Critical Interfaces: Contributions in Philosophy, Literature and Culture in Honour of Herbert Grabes, ed. Gordon Collier et al. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2001.

[BCBW 2014]

Love’s Silence and Other Poems (Ronsdale $14.95)
Article



Little-known in the West, Yong-un Han was born 200 km. south-east of Seoul in 1879. Married at 13, Han joined a revolt of peasants suffering from extreme poverty when he was 18. It was the start of his role as a poet/scholar, political activist and Korean patriot. Han fled to a Buddhist temple to escape the government forces. After visiting Vladivostok, he returned to Korea’s mountainous Kangwon province where his first son, Po-quk, (meaning ‘defend the country’) was born in 1904, but Han later left home to work in the kitchen of another Buddhist temple in order to become a monk. At age 29, he went to Japan to study Buddhism and Western philosophy. At the end of that year, he returned to Korea and founded an institute to preserve private as well as Buddhist properties, which were in danger of being taken over by the Japanese.

Han became a controversial figure in the Buddhist community when he wrote an article in 1910, advocating the marriage of monks. In 1911 he established a society to promote Zen Buddhism. Frustrated by the annexation of Korea by Japan, he again took the path of exile to Manchuria.
Returning to Korea in 1912, he compiled a populist dictionary of Buddhism, a task requiring him to go over 1,511 documents and 6,802 Buddhist tablets. The Dictionary of Korean Buddhism was published in 1914. In deep meditation, Han attained a sudden awakening at the sound of an object blown to the ground by the wind. He became the editor of The Spirit, a Buddhism magazine. Han joined forces with other patriots to restore Korean sovereignty in 1919 and became an influential figure in the March 1st Movement for Independence. The document of independence, made public on March 1st, was drafted by Namsun Choe but was revised and supplemented by Han. After signing and promulgating the historical document with 32 other patriots, Han was arrested by Japanese police and was declared guilty on August 19th.

In jail, the Japanese government failed to make Han apologize for the March 1st Independence Movement. After three years of imprisonment, he was set free in 1922. At the age of 46, in the Paek-dam temple of Kangwon Province, Han completed Love’s Silence, a eulogy of 88 poems. In these poems, his love moves beyond individuals and objects to embrace country, truth, liberation from worldly bondage and Buddha’s compassion for suffering humanity. Love’s Silence and Other Poems (Ronsdale $14.95), translated by Jaihiun Kim and Ronald B. Hatch, contains sixteen additional poems selected from Han’s complete works.

Bridging ancient Zen traditions and 20th century free verse, Han, whose pen name ‘Manhae’ meant Ten Thousand Seas, took over the magazine Buddhism and became its director. He married a second time, and in 1933 his daughter Yongsuk was born. In the same year, financed by a group of his friends, Han purchased land in Songbuk-dong where his house was built facing north so he woudn’t see from his window the Japanese governor’s residence. His house was named ‘Ox-searching Hall’. On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Han resumed the publication of the magazine Buddhism in 1937. A year later he was arrested by the Japanese police as one of the leading members of Korean Buddhism. While in prison, he undertook the compilation of the history of Buddhism during the Koryo dynasty from 918 to 1392. On his 60th birthday, Han started translating The History of Three Kingdoms, which was serialized in the Choson Daily. In 1940, he launched a protest against the Japanization of Korean family names. In 1943 he opposed Japan’s policy to send Korean students to the Japanese war-front.

Yong-un Han died of cerebral hyperemia in his home ‘Ox-searching Hall’ in Seoul in 1944. He was cremated according to Buddhist practice, and his remains were buried in the public cemetery in Mang-u-dong on the outskirts of Seoul. 0-921870-62-0

[BCBW AUTUMN 1999]


Clayoquot & Dissent, edited by Ronald Hatch
Press Release



With essays by Tzeporah Berman, Maurice Gibbons, Gordon Brent Ingram, Christopher Hatch, Loÿs Maingonhere:

"Six of BC's foremost environmentalists — including Tzeporah Berman and Chris Hatch — offer well-documented essays that illuminate the issues behind the Clayoquot protests of 1993. The analysis reveals the lack of a scientific basis for forestry decisions, explains why Canada's forests continue to be destroyed, and proposes alternatives. Also discussed are the creation and philosophy of the Peace Camp and the radicalization of the public in response to the cutting of ancient forests. Photographs included."

Clayoquot & Dissent
Interview



A STRANGE CUCKING SOUND INTERRUPTS a telephone conversation with UBC English professor Ron Hatch on a Monday at 5:30 p.m. There's nothing wrong with the line. "Oh, that's my electronic monitoring device," he explains. "It's checking to see if I'm at home."

Hatch was arrested for protesting clear-cut logging at Clayoquot on August 9, 1993, along with cultural ecologist Los Maingon, SFU Education professor Maurice Gibbons and approximately 300 others. He pleaded not guilty to criminal contempt and was sentenced to 21 days (20 under electronic surveillance), 25 community hours and probation for the rest of the year.

"On the day of my sentencing, I tried to be calm and logical. But I was really angry. We were never allowed to justify our actions. Given the sort of charge it is, the judges believe it's possible to infer your motives. At the time of our trial in Victoria, we flew over environmental planner Brent Ingram from UBC to speak about old growth forests. He's an internationally recognized expert but the judge decided he couldn't offer evidence. The only time we were allowed to say anything of substance was at our sentencing. Of course the value of putting ourselves through the meatgrinder, instead of pleading guilty, is we're now in a position to launch an appeal"

Hatch, Gibbons, Ingram, Maingon and Tzeporah Berman are also in a position to launch a collection of essays, Clayoquot & Dissent (Ronsdale $7.95), with artwork by Margot Gibbons. Profits will go to environmental organizations. Hatch will contribute the testimony he wasn't permitted to deliver in court. Meanwhile Hatch has preferred to wear shorts this summer, so everyone can see his electronic monitoring device.

"The whole experience has deepened the sense of what we have to fight against," says Hatch. "We discovered during the trials that the RCMP had been giving information to Macmillan Bloedel on a daily basis. The police, wittingly or unwittingly, were aligning themselves with MB. At the same time, you begin to realize how much the court system is slanted towards the logging companies. We soon found ourselves fighting the courts instead of fighting MB. The courts took the heat off Macmillan Bloedel and the province paid for the process. By the time the sentencing was over, the process didn't satisfy anybody except Macmillan Bloedel. The judges were unhappy, the protestors were unhappy. and the general public was unhappy. The courts failed to understand that civil disobedience could be done, as Martin Luther King said, 'lovingly', with respect for the law one is breaking."

0-921870-29-9

[BCBW 1994] "Environment" "Law"

Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award 2014
Press Release (2014)



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17th, 2014

The Association of Book Publishers of BC announces Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award 2014 Recipient: Ronsdale Press

In 1988, Ronald and Veronica Hatch took over Cacanadada Press with the aim of publishing books that would give Canadians new insights into themselves and their country. With Ron and Ronny at the helm, Ronsdale Press was born. When asked why he bought the press, Ron simply said, “I felt I could add something.”

Indeed, Ron and Veronica have added tremendously to BC’s publishing landscape. Starting out with four poetry books, Ronsdale Press now has some 230 books—all of which are in print—and publishes poetry, fiction, regional history, biography and children’s books.

And people are taking notice. Just recently, Ronsdale authors Pamela Porter was runner-up in the CBC Poetry Prize. Luanne Armstrong was shortlisted for this year’s Chocolate Lily Award and Patrick Bowman was nominated for the Red Maple. Additionally, I Just Ran won the Silver Medal in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards and Run Marco Run won the Gold Medal in the Moonbeam awards. Ronsdale books are also recognized internationally: Asian publishers have started to translate Ronsdale titles in order to reach new readers.

We celebrate Ronsdale Press not because they have survived two and a half decades in an ever-changing industry, but because they thrive. They march forward, expanding their vision, embracing changing technologies and engaging with new markets.

When considering Ronsdale’s defining moments, one immediately thinks of Clayoquot & Dissent, an exploration of Clayoquot Sound and an account of the 1993 protest against the decision to allow logging in two-thirds of Clayoquot Sounds’s old growth forest. During the protest, Ron himself was arrested and sentenced to community service, probation and 20 days of electronic surveillance courtesy. “We were never allowed to say anything substantial or meaningful in the trial, so we did the book,” Ron said.

Ronsdale Press is also well known for publishing the work of renowned author Jack Hodgins who found Ronsdale based on word of mouth. How does one earn such a solid reputation? “By working gently and honestly with authors,” said Ron.

Ronsdale Press is a publishing house that champions honesty, integrity and a fearless commitment to important, exciting and diverse work.

We thank Ronsdale Press for their many contributions to our literary canon and our cultural history. It is our honour to recognize their work. Ron will accept the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award at the Association of Book Publishers of BC Awards Dinner on April 24th, 2014.

The Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award is presented as deserved to an active BC book publishing company that has, in recent times, earned the respect and applause of the community of publishers for a specific publishing project, an extraordinary contribution to the BC publishing community, and/or its extended commitment to excellence in publishing. Jim Douglas was founder of J. J. Douglas Publishers, which became Douglas & McIntyre.

The ABPBC Awards Dinner is sponsored by BC BookWorld, Friesens Printers, International Web exPress and Rhino Print Solutions as well as funders The Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver and Creative BC.



Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award 2014
Speech (2014)



Gentle & Unafraid

Karen Green’s introduction for the winner of the 2014 Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award: Ronsdale Press – Ron Hatch and Veronica Hatch.

*

Ron Hatch completed his Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh in 1969, with a dissertation on eighteenth century social history and the poetry of George Crabbe. He joined the UBC English Department in 1969 as Assistant Professor and became Associate Professor in 1974. In 1979-80, he was Visiting Professor at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. In 1989-90 he was Visiting Professor at the University of Erlangen/Nuremberg. And again in 1997, he was invited to be Visiting Professor at the University of Chemnitz, where he introduced a program in Canadian Studies.

Veronica Hatch began her career as a teacher in British Columbia, taught for two years with CUSO in the Punjab in India, and taught in the Calders near Edinburgh for another two years. In later life she taught at universities in Germany. Veronica Hatch is the managing editor of Ronsdale Press and also the children’s literature editor.

Ron and Veronica Hatch took over Cacanadadada Press from Margaret Fridel in 1990. Ron, a professor at UBC, was teaching and conducting research while carrying on from where Fridel left off: getting Cacanadadada off the ground. The first books were poetry, an area where Ron felt comfortable and where he felt he had something to contribute, new voices to add; at the time, he was reviewing poetry for the University of Toronto Quarterly’s Letters in Canada.

The Hatches attained an emerging publisher’s grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and later diversified bringing other genres into the mix. Along the way, Cacanadadada became “Ronsdale,” for Ron and “Ronny” (Veronica) and Veronica’s maiden name “Lonsdale.”

(Now, I believe there is a slightly different version of the acquisition story of Caca/nada/dada, a “Let’s buy a publishing house. How hard can it be?” version, but I’ll leave that one to Veronica and Ron should they choose, on or off the stage.)

The big story though, is that 24 years later Ronsdale Press, under the wings of Veronica and Ron, has grown – quietly some might say – to be a strong and highly regarded press on the BC and Canadian literary landscapes, publishing: fiction, poetry, regional history, biography and autobiography, books of ideas about Canada, as well as children’s books and translation including translations of Korean poetry. Today the press has published well over 200 titles. Ronsdale’s authors and books are recognized regularly with award and critical accolades, translation deals, and best seller list nods.

A defining moment for Ronsdale and the Hatches was Clayoquot & Dissent, published in 1994 and edited by Ron Hatch and Veronica Hatch: ABCBookWorld’s entry on Ronald B. Hatch says: “In 1993, in response to a BC government decision to allow logging in two-thirds of the old growth forest in Clayoquot Sound, more than 12,000 people attended blockades on Vancouver Island, resulting in more than 850 arrests. It was the largest collective act of peaceful civil disobedience in Canadian history.”

Ron Hatch himself was sentenced to 20 days under electronic surveillance, 25 community hours and probation for the rest of the year. Ron is quoted as having said: “We were never allowed to say anything substantial or meaningful in the trial, so we did the book.”

Ronsdale Press is also well known for publishing the work of renowned author Jack Hodgins who found Ronsdale based on word of mouth. The ABPBC media release asks: How does one earn such a solid reputation? “By working gently and honestly with authors,” said Ron. …

I had the great pleasure of attending a dinner for Ron organized by Alan Twigg. The dinner was primarily a celebration of Ron by Ronsdale’s authors. The respect was quite something to behold, from those in the room and from many from far and wide who had sent notes of congratulations as well as stories of working with Ron on manuscripts, stories that told of hard work and much respect for the editorial process in the end.

I’ve had the pleasure the past seven or so years of working with Ron on the board of the Literary Press Group of Canada and on the board of the ABPBC. Many great things can be said about Ronsdale, its publishing program and accolades, but I’ve also been struck by Ron’s dedication to his communities of publishers. He’s given a great deal of time to serve on boards, rarely missing a meeting, always on time. The “gentle” and “honest” approach referred to above with authors is the same approach I’ve seen in Ron’s board work. Ron always says what he thinks, whether it’s popular or not, an unafraid, and yes – gentle, style. His contributions are often important points of view not yet considered. His input on this level must also be recognized.

Finally, I had the opportunity to connect with an old friend and colleague of Ron and Veronica’s, Michael Carroll. He sent along these words:

“What does the name Ron Hatch conjure up for me? Motorcycles; black leather; the view toward Vancouver Island over the Strait of Georgia at the University of British Columbia; the calm amid a storm; quiet passion for the best poetry and fiction possible; great dinners and talk with Ron and Veronica in Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, and Chinese restaurants and a few greasy spoons across Canada; and attendance at a variety of stage plays over the years from the stage version of Thomas Vinterberg’s film Festen with Eric Petersen and Nicholas Campbell to a wide assortment of plays at Toronto’s Soulpepper, Tarragon, and Canadian Stage.

“I likely first met Ron in early 2000 shortly after taking over Vancouver’s BeachHolme Publishing. I believe it was at a Literary Press Group sales conference/general meeting in Toronto. Ron and I went to a lot of those in the early years of this century. We also met up at book fairs, ACP meetings, and of course ABPBC events. I recall one such ABPBC occasion in particular: a retreat on Gabriola Island a dozen or so years ago. The ABPBC retreats for me, and I’m sure Ron, too, provided a respite from the storms of our daily book publishing travails and challenges. And the retreat on Gabriola Island did just that … at first. About halfway or so through our sojourn on the island there was a massive snowstorm that knocked out the power on a good deal of Gabriola.

“As always Ron seemed outwardly tranquil while I noticeably fretted. He was then, and still is, a living embodiment of grace under pressure, just as he was during the dark days of that period when our mutual distributor General/Stoddart collapsed, independent bookstores were closing left and right, newspapers and magazines were already cutting back review space savagely, and Indigo was embroiled in a hostile takeover of Chapters that dragged on for months on end.

“Power failure? Freezing temperatures and no heat? So much snow that we might never get off the island? What’s the problem? Ron might have said, smiling serenely. Look at all the trees, the sea, plenty of good food even if we can’t cook it, and an endless supply of good books to read. What more could you want?

“Things change. People come and go. I’ve been back in Toronto for years and am now helping a new museum publish its first books. But Ronsdale continues to bring out terrific poetry, adult and youth fiction, and non-fiction, to support new and seasoned authors, and to fuel Canadian publishing with what it will always need: enthusiasm, perseverance, and the willingness to lay body, mind, and spirit on the line to furnish our culture, and the world’s culture, with great words and images. Ronsdale richly deserves the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award and I congratulate Ron and Veronica. Maybe someday I’ll get a ride on Ron’s motorcycle.”