September 27 marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, a national celebration of the freedom to read. The event was launched in 1982 in response to an increase in the number of challenges to books. According to the American Library Association, since then, over 11,300 books have been challenged. Now, every year, hundreds of schools, libraries, and bookstores call attention to the dangers of censorship by celebrating contemporary and classic banned books.

In honor of Banned Books Week this year, we’ve put together a list of famous banned poems, poetry books, and poets—from Ovid and Sappho to Ginsberg and Whitman, and beyond—along with information on their controversial histories. Read more about famous banned poetry and find out more about Banned Books Week.

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