1866 in poetry
- Charles Baudelaire's collection Les Épaves is published in Belgium containing poems suppressed from Les Fleurs du mal (Paris, 1857) for outraging public morality.
- Giuseppe Gioachino Belli's sonnets in the Romanesco dialect of Rome (sonetti Romaneschii, mostly written in the 1830s) are first published, posthumously in an expurgated selection by his son Ciro.
- First publications by the Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu, aged 16: In January Romanian teacher Aron Pumnul dies and his students in Cernăuţi publish a pamphlet, Lăcrămioarele învățăceilor gimnaziaști ("Tears of the Gymnasium Students") in which a poem entitled "La mormântul lui Aron Pumnul" ("At the Grave of Aron Pumnul") appears, signed "M. Eminovici"; on February 25 his poem "De-aș avea" ("If I were to have") is published in Iosif Vulcan's literary magazine Familia in Pest.
- Algernon Charles Swinburne's first collection Poems and Ballads causes a sensation on publication in London, especially the poems written in homage to Sappho and the sadomasochistic "Dolores (Notre-Dame des Sept Douleurs)", and, under threat of prosecution, his original publisher, Moxon and Co., transfer publication rights to the more liberal John Camden Hotten.
Ode on the Mammoth Cheese
In this year a masterpiece of cheese-making, a 7,000-pound Canadian behemoth produced in Perth, Ontario, and sent to exhibitions in Toronto, New York and Britain, was given its appropriate due in poetry by one James McIntyre (1828–1906), a Canadian known as "The Cheese Poet", whose work has outlasted his subject and might even make its fame immortal. Herewith, an excerpt of his "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing Over 7,000 Pounds":
- We have seen thee, Queen of Cheese,
- Lying quietly at your ease,
- Gently fanned by evening breeze;
- Thy fair form no flies dare seize.
- All gaily dressed, soon you'll go
- To the provincial show,
- To be admired by many a beau
- In the city of Toronto.
- from "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese" 
McIntyre's poetry has been the subject of books in the twentieth century, however, the greatest boost to his fame probably came from a number of his poems being anthologized in the collection Very Bad Poetry, edited by Ross and Kathryn Petras (Vintage, 1997).
Works published in English
- Sarah Elizabeth Carmichael, Poems
- Sir Francis Hastings Doyle, The Return of the Guards, and Other Poems
- John Henry Newman, The Dream of Gerontius
- Christina Rossetti, The Prince's Progress, and Other Poems
- Algernon Charles Swinburne, Poems and Ballads, first series, including "Dolores" (second series, 1878; third series, 1889)
- Benjamin Thorpe, assisted by Elise Otté, translation of the Poetic Edda as Edda Sæmundar Hinns Frôða: the Edda of Sæmund the Learned, from the old Norse or Icelandic
- George Yeld, Virgil reading his Æneid to Augustus and Octavia
- Elizabeth Akers, Poems
- George Arnold, Drift: A Sea-Shore Idyl
- Fitz-Greene Halleck, Lines to the Recorder
- Herman Melville, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War
- George Henry Miles, Christine
- John Greenleaf Whittier:
Works published in other languages
- Théodore de Banville, Les Exilés
- François Coppée, Le Reliquaire
- Paul Verlaine, Poèmes saturniens, including "Chanson d'automne" ("Autumn Song")
- Le Parnasse contemporain ("The Contemporary Parnassus"), first of three volumes (Volume II 1871, Volume III 1876), including poems by Théophile Gautier, Théodore de Banville, Leconte de Lisle, Baudelaire, José-Maria de Heredia, François Coppée, Catulle Mendès, Sully Prudhomme, Paul Verlaine and Mallarmé
- Girolamo de Rada, Rapsodi të një poeme arbëreshe, Arbëresh
- Estanislao del Campo, Fausto, satirical poem describing the impressions of a gaucho who attends Charles Gounod's opera Faust, and believes the events on stage to be happening in reality; Spanish-language, Argentina; an example of Gaucho literature
Death years link to the corresponding "[year] in poetry" article:
- January 20 – Richard Le Gallienne (died 1947), English poet
- January 30 – Gelett Burgess (died 1951), American humorist and poet
- March 2 – John Gray (died 1934), English aesthetic poet
- April 11 – Bernard O'Dowd (died 1953), Australian poet and co-founder of paper Tocsin
- June 5 – Edmund Vance Cooke (died 1932), Canadian-born American poet
- August 16 – Dora Sigerson (died 1918), Irish poet
- November 12 – Angiolo Silvio Novaro (died 1938), Italian poet and children's writer
- December 3 – Ethna Carbery, born Anna Johnston (died 1902), Irish poet
- December 12 – Edwin Greenslade Murphy (died 1939), Australian poet
- Barcroft Blake (died 1892), Australian poet
Birth years link to the corresponding "[year] in poetry" article:
- January 23 – Thomas Love Peacock (born 1785), English satirical novelist and poet
- January 31 – Friedrich Rückert (born 1788), German poet, translator and professor of Oriental languages
- March 29 – John Keble (born 1792), English poet and cleric
- May 18 – Francis Sylvester Mahony ("Father Prout"; born 1804), Irish humorist and poet
- August 12 – Philip Stanhope Worsley (born 1835), English poet and translator
- 19th century in poetry
- 19th century in literature
- List of years in poetry
- List of years in literature
- Victorian literature
- French literature of the 19th century
- Suarez, Michael F.; Woudhuysen, H. R., eds. (2013). The Book: A Global History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-967941-6.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Hotten, John Camden". Dictionary of National Biography. 27. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Prins, Yopie (1999). Victorian Sappho. Princeton University Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-691-05919-5.
- Kendrick, Walter M. (1996). The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 168. ISBN 0-520-20729-7.
- Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6.
- Ludwig, Richard M., and Clifford A. Nault, Jr., Annals of American Literature: 1602–1983, 1986, New York: Oxford University Press ("If the title page is one year later than the copyright date, we used the latter since publishers frequently postdate books published near the end of the calendar year." — from the Preface, p vi)
- Wagenknecht, Edward (1967). John Greenleaf Whittier: A Portrait in Paradox. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Coppée, François Édouard Joachim". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 102.
- Henderson, Helene, and Jay P. Pederson, editors, Twentieth-Century Literary Movements Dictionary, Detroit: Omnigraphics Inc., 2000