Perspectives

Al Letson: Podcaster, Poet, Writer & Actor Chats about Talking to One Another


Posted on:

< < Back to

Listening is the key to important and difficult conversations, according to Al Letson the current host of “Reveal,” the first hour-long public broadcasting show and podcast produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).
He claims with the explosion of social media and cable news shows that Americans have lost the ability to listen to each other. We talk past one another instead of with one another.
He also claims that sometimes the best way to deal with a confrontational conversation or hostile ideas being expressed is to just walk away. He feels that bitter arguments should not replace constructive conversation–but if they do—he does not engage. He does not give them space in his life.
Letson equates true listening to an “act of love.” He claims that sometimes the most powerful thing that a person can do is “shut up and listen.”
Letson has spent much of his career listening and talking, especially on his famous radio programs and podcasts. From 2008 to 2014, he was the host and executive producer of PRX’s State of the Re:Union podcast where Letson travelled across the country talking to a wide variety of people.
He helped launch “Reveal” in 2015.
Letson also has created and is co-host of his own podcast “Errthang” – a show that features storytelling, radio drama, and pop culture.
Besides his active life in radio, Letson is a performance poet, playwright, writer, and actor. Currently, Letson also is writing for DC comics and he has produced two graphic novels.
He recently visited Ohio University as part of the Challenging Dialogue Lecture Series created by President Dr. Duane Nellis.