Kingston Buttercup
Longlisted for the 2017 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature! Ann Margaret Lim follows her critically acclaimed debut collection, The Festival of Wild Orchid, with this exciting new volume, Kingston Buttercup, a work of fierce honesty, social awareness and lyric complexity.
Ann-Margaret Lim
ISBN number
Country setting
Publication date
19 Sep 2016

"In Kingston Buttercup, her marvelous second book, Ann-Margaret Lim’s fresh, honest, and tenderly-fierce perspective comes through in highly readable lyric poems. Her poems explore a range of locales, from the sea bottom, the underside of bridges, the riverbeds, the Taíno hills, the cane fields, the Kingston cityscape and the Jamaican countryside.  She draws from complex subject matter: plantation diaries, slave narratives, slave sale notices and the poet’s own family’s multi-generational, entwined stories from China, West Africa, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. In poems that remain rooted in contemporary Jamaica, Lim writes about life as a woman, daughter and mother with empathy, great love and the sometimes urgent, cleansing fyah." — Loretta Collins Klobah, author of The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman

“Ann-Margaret Lim’s lyrical gold transmuted from pain, passion, and a deeply felt historical consciousness mirrors the hardy Kingston buttercup that hides sharp thorns beneath a seductive golden flower. Her brave and triumphant exploration of home, family, personal and racial identity through twenty-first century livity will resonate long after closing.”   — Olive Senior, Author of Shell and Over the Roofs of the World

Kingston Buttercup is an intriguing collection of close portraiture, painting precise cross-sections of Jamaican lives, past and present. Lim's poetry unreels steadily without excess, focusing her careful gaze on what has been lost, by reweaving her own personal history in a smoky bar in Beijing, chasing the memory of her mother on the streets of Venezuela, or embodying the lost slave narratives of Jamaican slave plantations. She gives voice to the ghosts of our violent past, gives song to our overlooked and downtrodden, even finding a way to elegise the violent chaos of her hometown of Kingston, by populating these pages with hot sun and sweat, with brash taximen and grieving women, lending a listening ear to the reggae and patois that fill her poems with music. Lim is most moving when she is examining the complex joy and hardship of Jamaican womanhood and motherhood through snapshots of her life, showing us how family is the lyric she always carries with her, how grace can still be found in the utter beauty of the natural world.”   —  Safiya Sinclair, Author of Cannibal