SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Poetry is important to longtime poet Georgia Popoff, who shared a piece called “Apparitions” from her upcoming book.

“It’s been a lifesaver and a number of times,” Popoff recalled. “I started writing when I was a kid. I was first published by Walt Shepperd when I was 15-years-old.”

Around the same time she shared this passion with her friend and fellow poet Jackie Warren-Moore. Their friendship spanned decades.

“She was a remarkable human. It’s hard to use the word was,” Popoff said.

Warren-Moore passed away in 2021, the same year she was posthumously named Onondaga County’s first Poet Laureate. In the fall of 2022, the prestigious title was bestowed upon Popoff.

“It’s an honor to follow Jackie. We were friends and poets since we were teenagers. It’s an honor to serve my community in a different way.”

Georgia Popoff, Poet Laureate

She has worked for a number of years as workshops coordinator in the YMCA of Central New York’s Downtown Writers Center, planning all the classes.

“I hope she continues to be the ambassador that I know she already is,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon shared about what he hopes Popoff accomplishes in this role. “And hopefully can be an advocate and can push her experiences and her talents, really forcefully into our young people.”

“One of the things I’m interested in is making sure that for instance all of the libraries in our system have an opportunity for poetry on their shelves,” Popoff said about her new role.

Beginning this new position like her poems.

“It’s like having a big wad of clay that you throw on the wheel and make it into something. The expression, the release, the healing it serves a lot of purposes,” Popoff said.

And it is her purpose.

Popoff will serve as Poet Laureate through 2024.