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The Jefferson Exchange

Playwright Writes Of Young Friend's Death


Sarah Ruhl is a playwright, author, professor and MacArthur genius grant recipient.

Max Ritvo was one of her students. When Max's pediatric cancer resurfaced, the two developed a deep friendship and exchanged an extraordinary series of letters in the four years before Max's death in 2016.

Their relationship comes alive in their collected letters, published in the book Letters from Max: A Book of Friendship.  Sarah Ruhl is our guest. Mary-Louise Parker recorded her own readings of two Max Ritvo poems for this interview. 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and marked his tenth anniversary as the full-time host of the Jefferson Exchange at the end of 2019. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for 35 years, working in both television and radio.
John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of "the split" when JPR grew from a single program stream to three separate streams. We coaxed him out of retirement and he's now a co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.