"St. Kilda is a barren, rocky archipelago 60 km 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."