ABOUT THE BOOK DOE

In 2008, I began writing poems in Doe after reading a news article about the ninth anniversary of a woman's body being discovered on the I-10 leaving Phoenix, Arizona. Her death, and the struggle investigators faced in finding her identity, was the impetus to tell stories of missing and unidentified women in the United States.

Over the course of seven years, I researched thousands of women, diving into newspaper articles, police websites, web forums, and more. In the end, I wrote fifty poems for the collection, imagining it as a place to document, mourn, and call attention to what happens when women go missing in this country.

In 2016, Doe was selected by poet Allison Joseph for the Akron Poetry Prize and was published by University of Akron Press in 2018. In 2020, documentary filmmakers Jason Greer and Vanessa Cicarelli (Birdy & Bean Films) began work on a documentary about Doe.

 

 


Winner of the Akron Poetry Prize
“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

Winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize
"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 Poetry Prize

 

"Review of Doe" by W. Todd Kaneko in Waxwing

"But then the horrific world of Doe is one in which women are in constantly peril of losing their lives, their bodies, their whole selves. Baker’s poems are not cautionary tales or grisly reenactments, but they do remind us that the awful world these women lived in is the same one we live in. They introduce us to those who are gone from the world and ask us to observe their absence, to ask where they are now." For the complete review, click here.

"The Murderino in Me: Reading Aimée Baker's Doe" by Ruth Williams in The Bind

"In Doe, Baker attempts to reverse this Dead Girlification of missing and murdered women by reanimating their last moments in order to reorient the camera angle, focusing less on acts of violence and the men who enact them, and more on the women themselves. And yet, even as the poems individuate these women, ceding back to them something other than mere victimhood, the accrual of their bodies across the collection destabilizes their singularity, suggesting the terrible “pattern,” as Bolin calls it, of violence against women."For the complete review, click here.
 

Awards

Selected Reviews

© 2018 by Aimee Baker