By: Quinton R. Arthur
When it comes to expressing herself, Lavelle Smith Hall, better known by her pseudonym, LSH, has never had an issue. LSH is a Roosevelt alum who recently published her own book, “My Bad: A Reading Series.”
The passion for writing first came to LSH when she was nine years old. She wrote a story in her diary and treasured it. The same story became a diversity ad for Leo Burnett, an advertising agency that LSH works for, who she says lets her express herself creatively.
“What I love that about writing is that it is so much fun,” says LSH. “You can create so much motion and movement in words.”
LSH entered the MFA program at Roosevelt in 2014. She credits the program and its director, Christian TeBordo, for introducing her to a short-style form of writing.
“He [TeBordo] introduced a class called fragments and compressions,” LSH said. “It taught us how to tell a story in a sentence or less. I immediately fell in love with this style because it is how my mind works – in snapshots – living in the moment.”
LSH self-published “My Bad: A Reading Series” in 2015. It consists of 18 different pieces.
“The book showcases moments of badness,” she said. “It matches my personality, throwing up a middle finger to societal norms.”
The LSH brand focuses on women, encouraging growth and self-realization.
While books were sold locally through word of mouth in the beginning, the brand has grown. Now women perform parts of the book at different events called “LSH Nights” in different cities.
“Seeing the women perform the work live brings an aesthetic experience,” LSH says. “For example, performing a part from the book about a character named Peach brings an element of drama and is sultry.”
Staying true to the social justice mission she adopted while at Roosevelt, LSH participates in a number of service projects and is adamant about working with youth. She is a member of Jack and Jill America, which is an organization dedicated to leadership and philanthropy within the African-American community. There, LSH aides in local, regional and national efforts of the organization.
LSH describes herself as the art of female empowerment, expressed through fiction and fantasy writing. She believes life is learning to deal with certain situations.
“As long as we live, I will say shit will happen, in order to be successful you just have to learn to adapt,” she said.
You can find out more about LSH, as well as purchase her book, at www.lshbooks.com.