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Watch for five new poems beneath your feet on Appleton sidewalks

Post Date:03/12/2015

If you're a fan of exercise and poetry, Appleton's expanding sidewalk poetry program will help you enjoy both.


Five poems, including “A Poem for Dad” have been selected to be installed around Appleton as part of the Department of Public Works’ sidewalk poetry program for 2015. 

The ode to fathers was written by the youngest poet in the 2015 class of winners, Appleton Classical Charter School 8th grader Sam Schroeder. 

Appleton East High School senior Spencer Ropke joins Appleton residents Jen Rockey, Aaron Hunnel and Kim Nelson-Hojnacke to round out the group of poets whose poems will be added to sidewalks currently scheduled for maintenance this year. 

Almost 100 submissions from third graders to adults were received this year. The selected works will be added in city parks, downtown streets and for the first time, residential neighborhoods. 

The winning poets will be recognized at the March 18 Common Council meeting. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at City Hall. 

A ceremony for the installation of the first poem in this year’s series will be scheduled once the construction season begins. 


The goal of the poetry program is to transform the city’s sidewalks into an open poetry book. The idea came from a Saint Paul, MN artist who created a similar program in the Twin Cities.

Six poems were selected in the first year of the program in 2014. 

Appleton Communications Coordinator Chad Doran can be reached at (920) 832-5814

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The poems selected for 2015: 

By Sam Schroeder 

"A Poem for Dad" 
Dad, my life teacher. 
You bring light 
In the dark of the world, 
Loving me even when I mess up. 
You house me and support me. 
I don't know why I don't 
Thank you every single moment 
Of every day. 

By Spencer Ropke 

The ones that you're stuck with 
are chosen by blood, 
but the ones that you stick with 
are chosen by love. 

By Jen Rockey 

There are times 
I wish I could be 
as pretty 
as those I see … 
Then I realize, 
the beauty on the outside of them 
is on the inside 
of me. 

By Aaron Hunnel 

Smile with gratitude, 
for you are alive. 
You have a purpose, 
don't exist to survive. 
Find your true meaning, 
while out on your stroll. 
Happiness consists of your 
mind, body and soul. 

By Kim Nelson-Hojnacke 

Thank you for … 
sharing yourself with me 
for I need someone who cares. 
Thank you for … 
letting me be me 
for sometimes I need to dare. 
Thank you for … 
listening to me 
for I carry more than I can bear. 
Thank you for LOVING me!


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