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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

COVID-19

An Old Hate Goes Viral

Attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have surged since the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. This hate has a deeper history.

Jul 1, 2020
Religion

Unrepentant

Despite revelations of clergy sex abuse and promises of transparency, a prominent Jesuit university does little to punish priests who cross the line.

Jun 20, 2020
COVID-19

Divided states of the pandemic

The federal government’s failure to manage the pandemic shifted the burden to local officials. We look at state responses in California and Florida.

Jun 13, 2020
COVID-19

Home school

Online learning works only if you can get online. We explore why tens of thousands of families are caught on the wrong side of the digital divide.

May 30, 2020
COVID-19

Reproducing racism

As racial disparities in health come into the spotlight amid COVID-19, we explore how the legacy of racism affects maternal health in the U.S.

May 23, 2020
Accountability

Homewreckers

After the housing bust, these men destroyed the American dream of homeownership. Learn how they did it and what that means for our economy now.

May 16, 2020
COVID-19

(Un)protected

At a time when America is relying on health care workers more than ever, we look at why there’s not enough protective gear to keep them safe.

May 9, 2020
Accountability

Harpooned by Facebook

As the pandemic sends more people online for entertainment, we look at how companies such as Facebook turn information about their users into profits.

May 2, 2020
COVID-19

Pandemic, protests and profits

Protesters around the country are pushing to loosen stay-at-home orders. Meanwhile, some Amazon workers say not enough is being done to protect them.

Apr 25, 2020
COVID-19

The cost of COVID-19

Can the biggest U.S. stimulus stave off home foreclosures, save businesses and prevent the worst economic crash since the Great Depression?

Apr 18, 2020