Bill Johnston is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at IU. His passion is literary translation; he translates from Polish and is deeply involved in ALTA, the American Literary Translators Association. He has translated works from many different periods and genres. This has included recent novels by such authors as Magdalena Tulli and Wiesław Myśliwski; contemporary poetry by Tadeusz Różewicz, Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki, and Tomasz Różycki; earlier 20th-century authors such as Witold Gombrowicz; and "classics" by Stefan Żeromski, Jan Kochanowski; and Juliusz Słowacki.
Johnston's prowess at Polish-English translation earned him the 2014 "Transatlantic Prize" from the Polish Book Institute. The annual prize is awarded to an outstanding ambassador of Polish literature abroad.