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Biography

Soul-stirring, interdisciplinary work has garnered Al Letson national recognition and devoted fans. In 2008 Letson created, hosted, and executive produced State of the Re:Union (SOTRU). Every episode SOTRU examined America through the lens of community. The program aired on more than 300 NPR stations, receiving critical acclaim, and numerous awards, including a Peabody Award (2014), three consecutive National Edward R. Murrow Awards (2012, 2013, 2014).

In 2015 SOTRU ended production and Letson joined the Center for Investigative Reporting to help launch and host public radio's first hour-long investigative journalism show, Reveal. Reveal’s first pilot, The VA’s Opiate Overload, won a Peabody Award (2013). Since that time Reveal has gained a large audience and is heard on over 400 public radio stations and over 1 million downloads a month. In 2016 Letson launched his own podcast, showcasing a little bit of errthang. Errthang is just that, everything: storytelling, radio drama, pop culture reviews, and interviews. Letson is basically taking all the things that are floating in his head and turning it into a mixtape of delight for listeners.

A true renaissance man, Letson got his start on stage as a performance poet where he established himself as a heavyweight in the Poetry Slam community, being a featured on venues such as HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and CBS’s 2004 Final Four PreGame. Drawing on his background as a performance poet, Letson seamlessly weaves spoken word into the fabric of his theatre work. Several of his plays produced on stages across the country. His solo performance Summer in Sanctuary opened at the Abingdon Theatre company off-Broadway in the summer of 2012 and ran for nine months at the Marsh in San Francisco.

A self-described comic nerd, in 2017 Letson was picked by DC Comics to join the DC Comics Writer’s Workshop. The workshop trains writers to work for DC Comics, writing iconic characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. While it may seem like his interests are varied, they are all aspects of who Al Letson is, a storyteller for the new millennium.

Articles

Accountability

The bad place

The graffiti says it all: “This is a bad place.” Why do states send children to facilities run by Sequel, after dozens of cases of abuse?

Nov 21, 2020
Accountability

United, we’re not

Where does America go from here? We talk with an asylum-seeking family, Georgia women on abortion and West Virginians on the impact of Black Lives Matter.

Nov 14, 2020
Environment

The American divide

Reveal host Al Letson talks to a first-time voter, whose struggles reflect the divisions this country faces after a historic election.

Nov 7, 2020
Immigration

An adolescence, seized

A 10-year-old Honduran girl came to the United States seeking asylum. Instead, she was detained – away from her family – for nearly seven years.

Oct 17, 2020
Voting

Whose vote will count?

From problems with vote-by-mail systems to voter suppression, we examine the potential for chaos in the 2020 elections.

Oct 3, 2020
COVID-19

COVID-19 in confinement

Self-isolation may protect us from COVID-19, but what if you’re forced to live with strangers? This week, we look at nursing homes and prisons.

Sep 19, 2020

America’s ring of fire

Wildfires are getting bigger, more expensive and closer to people’s homes. We examine how wildfires got so dangerous – and how some are fighting back.

Sep 12, 2020