American Poet on Fellowship Missing in Japan


American poet Craig Arnold, author of the poetry collections Shells (Yale University Press, 1999) and Made Flesh (Ausable Press, 2008), went missing in Kuchino-erabu, a small island in Southern Japan, on April 27. Arnold, who was on a fellowship from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, never returned to the inn where he was staying after setting out on a research expedition to the island's volcano for a book he has been writing on the subject. 

Authorities have been looking for Arnold, but, according to Publishers Weekly, which linked to an account of the story on, Japan officially requires only three days of searching for a missing person. On April 28, Japanese authorities used cars, search dogs, foot patrols, and a helicopter to search for Arnold, but were unsuccessful.

Arnold had his Japanese iPhone with him when he disappeared, but attempts to reach him have been unsuccessful. Japanese provider Softbank was reportedly contacted to try to utllize the phone's built-in GPS capabilities to try to pinpoint its location.

Poet Gabriel Gudding, whose blog is Earth and Pragmatism, urged readers to contact Arnold's girlfriend, Rebecca Lindenberg, with ideas or contact information for those who might be able to help. Gudding also suggested readers contact a senator or congressperson to explain the situation and request additional resources in hopes that Japanese authorities might be pressured to continue the search.

Friends and family have also set up the blog and a Facebook page to provide more information.