Literary Nonfiction. Fiction. Memoir. "Some time ago, I decided to drink a hundred cups of coffee and record them, with my thoughts and surroundings. I was waiting for certain things to unfold, or even pass unrecorded. Therefore, this is not a daily diary in the usual sense. Over the course of two years, many things happened. My mother died of dementia, I quit my job, and Donald Trump was elected president. And some things remained constant—my house on Santa Fe's west side with my husband Rich, my daughter Isabel and son-in-law Tim living in the county. Friendships ebbed and flowed as friendships will, weather turned as threat of drought persisted. I did not grow younger. I traveled many places, both near and far. I remembered the dead who were mine. Coffee soothed my worry, and helped me focus. But this record is not about coffee, per se. I drank iced tea and other things in the same spirit. I just wanted something in my mouth, which is also the seat of expression, of words. Full disclosure: I do not really care about coffee. I love the bitterness, and the kick. But I am no maven or aficionado. Essentially, this writing is about the ephemeral, the momentary. It is about states of mind—most notably the state of mind that gives rise to language and writing. It is also about consciousness—that shape-shifting animal that can be tracked but never completely captured. Sometimes I wrote poetry, mostly I wrote prose. Rather without planning to, I also created a paean to my neighborhood, Santa Fe's west side, where a funky vibe mixes with occasional gentrification. No doubt the blocks around my house are the only other thing in life I have ever observed as continually as my own mind. I always say that my obituary will note that I divided my time between two neighborhood cafes—Counter Culture and Tune-Up. This is a record of a woman in her early sixties, in a capital city in the arid west, in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Who is sitting and writing. Now Tune-Up is getting busy with the lunch rush. I'll finish my cafe au lait and walk the four and a half minutes home."—Miriam Anna Sagan
Miriam Sagan is the author of over thirty books of poetry, fiction, and memoir. Her most recent include Start Again (Red Mountain, 2022) and A Hundred Cups of Coffee (Tres Chicas, 2019). She is a two-time winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards as well as a recipient of the City of Santa Fe Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and a New Mexico Literary Arts Gratitude Award. She has been a writer in residence in four national parks, Yaddo, MacDowell, Gullkistan in Iceland, Kura Studio in Japan, and a dozen more remote and interesting places. She works with text and sculptural installation as part of the creative team Maternal Mitochondria in venues ranging from RV Parks to galleries. She founded and directed the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College until her retirement. Her poetry was set to music for the Santa Fe Women's Chorus, incised on stoneware for two haiku pathways, and projected as video inside an abandoned building during the pandemic.