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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

Inequality

Year of Return

We reflect on how the legacy of slavery has reverberated through the generations to the present.

Aug 24, 2019
The Cost of Choice

The cost of school choice

Dominique Martin was thrilled to get a state-funded voucher to send her daughter to private school. We go to Louisiana to investigate the cost of school choice.

Aug 17, 2019
Accountability

Harpooned by Facebook

As smart devices become a bigger part of our lives, we look at how Facebook and other companies profit from information about their users.

Aug 3, 2019
Sports

Lasting impact

In Oregon, the concussion protocols that were supposed to keep high school athletes safe end up falling short for a star quarterback.

Jul 27, 2019
Kids on the Line

In harm’s way

The federal government is quietly expanding its use of “tender age” shelters for migrant kids. We’ll tell you what we know.

Jul 20, 2019
Environment

Silencing science

President Donald Trump says he doubts humans have much of a role in climate change. His administration has sought to silence scientists.

Jul 13, 2019
The Trump Era

Pardon me

We share the story of a broken pardons system, leaving a backlog of 13,000 applications, and a pardon attorney’s office that the White House ignores.

Jul 6, 2019
Law Enforcement

Cops on a crime spree

They belonged to an elite police task force charged with getting guns off Baltimore’s streets. Instead, the plainclothes cops roamed the city, robbing people on the street, breaking into homes to steal money and drugs, and planting evidence on their victims.

Jun 22, 2019