SHANTIH Journal is a collaborative project founded by former editors of an award-winning high school literary journal. These now college students and emerging professionals in the arts continue their passion for meaningful writing and powerful images, facilitated by their former teacher, by providing this platform for writers and artists of merit. SHANTIH’s staff is committed to publishing work that speaks both to the heart and to the head, that provokes and electrifies, that surprises and reveals.

Writers we admire include Wallace Stevens, William Stafford, Donald Barthelme, Tim O’Brien, Charles Simic, Robert Hass, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Joy Harjo, Naomi Shihab Nye, Lydia Davis, Aimee Bender, Roxane Gay, ZZ Packer, and Lidia Yuknavitch. Clearly, there is no one style we’re searching for beyond quality. We’re simply looking for the best work being done right now. We’re looking for powerful literature.

A Little History

SHANTIH Journal was years in the making. Starting in late 1998, the earliest participants in the creation of this journal began their love affair with a high school literary magazine entitled What the Thunder Said. As these students graduated and entered into their college careers, some of them continued their love of the fine arts. For some it became an avocation. Others made it their bread and butter.

In this ongoing collaboration, former students and editors of the student-run magazine What the Thunder Said and their former teacher are pleased to bring you this newly formed celebration of art and artists.

The Meaning of Shantih & the aesthetic of our journal

SHANTIH borrows its name from T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, part V, which is entitled “What the Thunder Said”. So, in many ways, the title of our journal is an extension of the publication to which we owe our genesis, but the name, and our intention, goes beyond a passing nod to the old magazine.

Shantih (Sanskrit, शान्ति ) can be translated into English as peace, or inner peace, or bliss, or tranquility. In his poem, The Waste Land, T. S. Eliot translated the word as “The Peace which passeth understanding”, but really these are all poor translations. In T. S. Eliot and Indic Tranditions (1987), Cleo McNelly Kearns writes of the larger context within Eliot’s use of the word:

Shantih as a mantra “[…] conveys, at a very deep level, the quality it seeks to denote, the peace inherent in its inner sound. […] As a term for the goal of meditation, it suggests the telos toward which the poem as meditation must move” (Kearns 228).

The basis of the aesthetic of our journal is the idea that art invokes healing and peace simply by existing in a shared space. Further, that the drive for peace and well-being is a private, as well as communal urge. It is our goal to create a journal that is both the invocation and the shared space of this benediction.


Inquiries to SHANTIH Journal staff should be directed to


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