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RITVO--Max Joseph,

died on August 23, 2016 at home after a long brutal battle with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare pediatric cancer. Born in Los Angeles in 1990, Max graduated from John Thomas Dye and Harvard Westlake Schools. He received his BA from Yale in 2013 and his MFA from Columbia University in 2016, where he earned a fellowship to teach in the Undergraduate Writing Program and served as a writing consultant in The Writing Center. His poems and essays have been widely published in The New Yorker, Boston Review, the Yale Review, Poetry Magazine, and the Huffington Post; his chapbook "Aeons", was chosen by Jean Valentine to receive the Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship in 2014. His full-length poetry collection "Four Reincarnations" will be published in the fall of 2016 by Milkweed Editions. A brilliant comedian--a member of the experimental comedy troupe "His Majesty, the Baby"--and a compassionate advocate for human, as well as animal rights, he spoke about creative life, love, and his battle with cancer on various radio programs, including the Dr. Drew Podcast, SiriusXM's "Just Jenny," and NPR's "Only Human." Above all, Max had an extraordinary capacity to love. He adored his wife, his parents, family, and his friends. Max is survived by his wife Victoria Ritvo, his mother Riva Ariella Ritvo Slifka, his father Edward Ritvo, his siblings Victoria Black (Rayon), Skye Oryx (Marco) and David Slifka (Michele), his nephews Braylan, Kingston, Echo and Eli and his niece Emma. He was pre-deceased by his beloved stepfather Alan Slifka. Max left us too young. Devastated, we are left with a permanent vacancy in our hearts and an unimaginable life without Max. It is said that some people are larger than life, but Max truly was, and we take forward the many life lessons we have learned from him. We hope to continue his legacy. To live as he did, to make time have meaning as he did, is the wish of all of us who loved him. "My genes are in mice, and not in the banal way; that Man's old genes are in the Beasts. My doctors split my tumors up and scattered them; into the bones of twelve mice. We give the mice poisons I might, in the future, want for myself. We watch each mouse like a crystal ball. I wish it was perfect, but sometimes the death we see; doesn't happen when we try it again in my body." --Max Ritvo "Poem to My Litter". Funeral Services are private. In lieu of flowers, make a donation to .

Published in The New York Times on Aug. 24, 2016
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