Remember those little stories on the side of the Chipotle cups? Do you happen to have one lying in the backseat of your car?
You, then, have at least one thing in common with Yale.
Yale’s rare-book library has acquired a complete set of the Chipotle “Cultivating Thought” series—the series of short, “two-minute” essays and stories printed on the side of the company’s disposable paper goods. George Saunders, Jeffrey Eugenides, Toni Morrison, and Amy Tan all contributed to the series; Jonathan Safran Foer came up with the idea in the first place.
Like the idea of the“Cultivating Thought” series itself, the acquisition sounds like a punch line. Don’t throw out your trash—give it to Yale! But in fact it joins a large archive of poetry printed on material on which poetry is not often printed. The Beinecke Library’s rare-book and manuscript library has collected poetry printed on the side of pencils, postage stamps, bumper stickers, and commercial paint chips. It includes poems on posters by Amiri Baraka and Gwendolyn Brooks.
“The Yale Collection of American Literature collects American Literature in all its formats and in all media, documenting the ways great American writers reach diverse and unusual audiences beyond standard book publishing,” says a statement from the library.