Bill Johnston, one of the leading translators of Polish literature in the country, was recently named the winner of the inaugural Found in Translation Award, established last year by the Polish Book Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute in London and New York, and the W.A.B. Publishing House in Warsaw. Johnston was awarded the prize, which includes ten thousand Polish zlotys (approximately $4,635) a three-month, all-expenses-paid residency in Krakow, and a monthly stipend of two thousand zlotys (approximately $950), for his translation of New Poems (Archipelago Books, 2007) by Tadeusz Rozewicz.
Grzegorz Gauden, director of the Polish Book Institute in Krakow, and Monika Fabijanska, director of the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, delivered the award to Johnston at a ceremony last Friday during the second International Conference on Polish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches literature.
In addition to the poems of Rózewicz, Johnston has translated poems by Krzysztof Kamil Baczynski and fiction by Witold Gombrowicz, Andrzej Stasiuk, and Stefan Zeromski, among others.
The annual Lost in Translation Prize is given for the best translation of a work of Polish literature into English published during the previous year. Candidates for the award may be nominated by individuals as well as insitutions in Poland and the United States.