my name is Aimée Baker.
my name is Aimée Baker.
I'm a writer.
True crime writer.
And, I believe writing has the power to change the world.
In 2016, my book of poetry won the Akron Prize in Poetry and was published by University of Akron Press in 2018. Doe seeks to honor America's missing and unidentified women through poetry. In 2022, the documentary She was released. She chronicles my work on Doe and some of the missing and unidentified women I wrote about.
In 1999, reports came in that a young woman jumped or was pushed from a speeding car as it left Phoenix, Arizona, heading south on I10. Passing motorists stopped to help, and she was taken to a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. She died two days later from her injuries.
Without any identification on her, she became known as Maricopa Jane Doe or case #99-305.
When I first read her story, she had been unidentified for 9 years. I had never heard of her before, and I wondered that if it was possible for me to not know the story of a woman who died unidentified in the city I lived, what other women was I not hearing about?
Her story compelled me to learn about other women, and, through poetry, begin to honor them in the way I knew how: writing. That work, became Doe, a collection of poems that contains my tributes to only a small fraction of the missing and unidentified women in the Unites States.
I think of that woman every day. Her real name is Tawni. She was loved. She is loved.
Doe (University of Akron Press, 2018) was the 2016 Akron Prize winner from the University of Akron Press. Doe was selected by judge Allison Joseph.
Doe transforms missing person and unidentified person (Jane Doe) cases into poetry. By utilizing public files, newspaper reports, and other public information, this book seeks to erase the silence surrounding these women and resurrect them in our collective consciousness.
Over sixty women are featured in this book, representing only a small fraction of open cases in the United States.
For more about Doe, click here.
Praise for Doe
"My choice for the 2018 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize is Aimée Baker’s Doe, published by The University of Akron Press. A terrible beauty is born in this book-length elegy for female victims of kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder; the presumed dead, the disappeared, and the unidentified. These last, for whom the book is named, remind us of women’s universal vulnerability as the hunted gender. In language both violent and tender, the book exhumes the cases of women from across the continent and the century, bearing witness to their spirits, prayers, and passions. Doe is a suite of gorgeously orchestrated poems that remind us not to turn away from the news. Instead, it commands us to resist injustice with the compassion that only art can bring to life. I wholly admire this haunting, stunning, and necessary book, and I endorse it with no reservations."
- Naomi Guttman
on the selection of Doe for the
Eugene Paul Nassar Award
“My choice for the award is Doe—that book is so good, so well executed with such difficult subject matter. I admire its active courage, its commitment to witnessing what so many reject. It stayed with me through reading all the others—fantastic books, the lot of them. But Doe is a game changer, a silence eliminator.”
- Allison Joseph on the selection of Doe for Akron Prize
In 2020, Jason Greer and Vanessa Ciccarelli of Birdy & Bean Films optioned the rights to Doe to create the full-length feature documentary She.
Sue Vicory of Heartland Films joined as Executive Producer and Kate Mulgrew signed on as the film's narrator. Kate is joined by Raven Goodwin and Coco Jones who give voice to my poems. Stephanie Quayle wrote the original song "Jane" with Alex Kline and Jackie Lee McLean crafted the film's score.
She is the winner of the Best Documentary Feature Film Boston Independent Film Festival (2022) and received an Award of Recognition for a Documentary Feature at the Impact Docs Awards (2022). It has also been an official selection at the Cannes International Cinema Festival (2021), The Paus Premiers Festival (2021), Toronto International Women Film Festival (2021), First-Time Filmmaker Sessions by Lift-Off Global Network (2021), LA Independent Women Film Awards (2022), and the New York Independent Cinema Awards (2022).
To keep up-to-date with She as it moves through development, check out their webpage, Facebook page, and Instagram.
Praise for SHE
Aimée Baker’s first collection of poetry, Doe, was selected by Allison Joseph as the 2016 Akron Prize winner at University of Akron Press and published in 2018. Doe and Baker's work is the subject of the upcoming documentary She starring Kate Mulgrew, Raven Goodwin, and Coco Jones.
Baker's essays on true crime and memoir have been published by Guernica, Cincinatti Review, Black Warrior Review, and others. Two of her essays have been Best American Essays notables.
Her fiction and poetry, have appeared in journals such as The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, The Massachusetts Review, and Guernica. In 2014, she received the Zoland Poetry Fellowship from
the Vermont Studio Center.
As a first generation college student, Aimée received her BA in Creative Writing and History from St. Lawrence University and her MFA from Arizona State University where she was Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review. Currently, she is a lecturer at a university and is at work on her next book.