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Poet Releases Book Honoring Charles Village Murder Victim

After Words, a collection of poems, were written following the murder of Stephen Pitcairn.

Poet Releases Book Honoring Charles Village Murder Victim

Shirley Brewer, a poet who lives in Charles Village, has published a collection of poems honoring the life of Stephen Pitcairn, a Johns Hopkins researcher who was stabbed to death in Brewer's North Baltimore neighborhood.

The collection of Poems titled After Words, featuring a dedication written by Stephen Pitcairn’s mother Gwen Pitcairn, will have a launch party at 7 p.m., March 22 at the Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Road, according to an email from Brewer.

"Let After Words serve to honor Stephen B. Pitcairn, and the larger community of individuals whose lives have been cut short by knives, guns, and other weapons. Every death affects each of us," Brewer wrote in her email.

Brewer, in a profile last year, told Patch the book started after she wrote a poem called "Offering" and sent it to the Pitcairn family expressing the sorrow of the Charles Village community. After Gwen Pitcairn sent a letter back to Brewer, the writer was moved and more poems developed so she decided to write a collection on the topic.

"I didn’t really intend to write any of these poems—I’m telling you honest to God I’ve never had this happen in my life—but these poems came to me over the period of that year," Brewer said last year.

Stephen Pitcairn was stabbed in the 2600 block of St. Paul St. the night of July 25, 2010 when he was walking home from Penn Station following a bus trip to visit his sister. Gwen Pitcairn was on the phone with her son at the time of the attack.

In August 2011 John Wagner was convicted of the murder and that October was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison.

After Words is being published by Apprentice House at Loyola University Maryland.

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