St Kilda is a barren, rocky archipelago 100 miles off the west coast of Scotland. In 1930, harsh conditions led the islands' remaining 36 inhabitants to relocate to the mainland. Left behind were seabirds and a population of feral sheep. In Leaving the Island, her first poetry collection, Talya Rubin enters the isolated lives of those last Kildareans, and probes the "desert places"--to use Frost's phrase--in herself. Written during a series of extended trips abroad, including stays in Australia and Greece, Rubin's poems return, again and again, to a psychological landscape where "mud and rock / and sea and salt and oily smell / of fish and fowl is all, all." Rife with exacting wordplay and frank self-reckonings, Leaving the Island is a book about endings and what remains when we start over.