Bill Johnston is Director of the Polish Studies Center at Indiana University and associate professor of comparative literature and second language studies. He is one of the leading translators of Polish literature in North America. He has held fellowships with both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 2004 was awarded the Diploma of the Polish Foreign Ministry for promoting Polish culture abroad.
He translates both prose and poetry. Amongst his numerous translations are Juliusz Słowacki's Balladina, Witold Gombrowicz's Bacacay, Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński's White Magic and Other Poems, and Stefan Żeromski's The Faithful River. Professor Johnston will speak on the challenges of translating culture and discuss issues of identity.
In April, 2008, Professor Johnston received the first FOUND IN TRANSLATION AWARD for his translation of New Poems by Tadeusz Rozewicz (Archipelago Books, March 2007), a collection of Rozewicz’s three latest volumes in their entirety: Recycling, The Professor’s Penknife, and The Gray Zone. The award was established by the Polish Book Institute in Krakow, the Polish Cultural Institute in London, the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, and the W.A.B. Publishers in Warsaw, an annual award for the best translation of a work of Polish literature in the preceding year.