Readers Say

Poem: ‘Travel in Time’ is one of our favorite creative works from readers

We asked readers for their best creative writing. "Travel in Time" by Tanya Contos is one our top picks.

If you could travel to another time or alternate universe, where would you go?

Last month, we asked readers to try their hand at answering this question through creative writing. We received poems, flash fiction, and personal essays from readers exploring their memories and imagined futures.

The prompt was inspired by’s Book Club’s January pick, “A Fractured Infinity” by Nathan Tavares, a sci-fi adventure book with a romance at the center of its multiverse story. 

Below you’ll find one of our selected pieces, a poem titled “Travel in Time” by Tanya Contos.

“Travel in Time”

The past is a remote but not inaccessible destination

not another country

another continent

reachable not by land

only by air or water

or fire

The trick is

to get your ticket from someone you know

someone who used to live where you live

but now lives there

and can tell you what and what not to pack

what to bring as gifts

how to get there safely

how to speak to inhabitants

who may not want to speak to you


when you find yourself feeling confined

as if the continent were shrinking or melting away

until it’s no more than a tiny island

that can’t support life as you know it

let the someone you know

show you how to get home


leave quickly

without looking back

Tanya Contos is a Boston-based writer whose poetry and nonfiction have appeared in numerous periodicals and in the collection “The Tide Clock and Other Poems” (Somerset Hall Press). She speaks five languages and has written in several of them.

Join our next virtual Book Club discussion

Join our next virtual author discussion with Laura Zigman and The Silver Unicorn Bookstore’s Megan Birch-McMichael on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.