Intimates and Fools

Honor Book for the 2015 Nebraska Book Award for Cover/Design/Illustration

Sally Deskins & Laura Madeline Wiseman, what a delightful duo! Their book, Intimates and Fools, is a captivating aria praising that most maligned of all intimates, the brassiere. Wiseman’s slender, sometimes tart, poems form the skeleton of this book. Her bras are active; they tangle, squish, and flutter. Her descriptions are vivid: “one naughty strap winding, below a silk tank top.” Her humor is lighthearted: “why,” she asks about bras, “does everyone prefer them off?” Deskins’ characterful artwork supports Wiseman’s bras as she illustrates Intimates and Fools. Her captivating art, sometimes abstract, is mostly about cups: coffee cups and bra cups! They come in all sizes, shapes and colors, matching Wiseman’s poems in range and humor. Together, Wiseman and Deskins dance through an entertaining duet of intimate colors and words. Their stimulating combination forms a heady brew. You’ll not regret imbibing.

-Marilyn June Coffey

They’re rarely comfortable, never lift high enough and finding a “perfect fit” is elusive at best. Cleverly weaving our love-hate relationship with the bra through insightful poetry and playful, evocative art, Intimates and Fools is easily appreciated by anyone who has ever had to wear one.

– Roxanne Wach

Surprising and spontaneous, colorful and expressive, Sally Deskins’ illustrations are fun, inviting and light-hearted. Knowing the process of breast printing the images only makes the accompanying poetry by Laura Madeline Wiseman even more humorous. What a delightful pair these two artists make in this collaborative book. Coffee tables will never be the same again.

– Rachel Mindrup

Intimates and Fools, a lovely book about life and intimate wear, playfully exposes our epic love/hate relationship with the bra. Laura Madeline Wiseman’s beautifully blunt musings couple with Sally Deskins’ mischievous drawings and colorful “body prints” to fluidly move us from “pinched shoulders” to “silk roses”; they make the perfect pair.

– Kristin Pluhacek

Deskins’s own art, colorful sketches and body prints, unapologetically splash across the page in bright strokes while Wiseman’s handwritten prose snakes up and around, balancing and accompanying the art in Intimates and Fools… It made me want to linger, to touch the page, run my hands across the color and script. It was more of an experience than just interpretation… it’s what’s just under the busy surface that’s most appealing: the wildly complex social constructs of female body, and the symbol of the bra as the ultimate carrier of all things female: shame, sexuality, strength.

– Jen Lambert, [Pank] Magazine

Deskins’ artwork is vibrant, with Wiseman’s playful poems surrounding it [in Intimates and Fools]…the overall feeling from the collection is one of simple joy in these sacred garments we hold close. As Wiseman writes: ‘With or without them, my cups are full – overflowing.’

– Melody Montgomery,  Black Heart Magazine

Intimates and Fools is a visually stunning book. This insightful collaboration between poet Laura Madeline Wiseman and artist Sally Deskins gives us not only a look into the bras that hold women’s breasts, but uncovers the history and honesty of what women wear beneath their garments… Throughout, we never leave what holds up the breasts, what women desire in a bra, what women might do without them, even how these intimate garments are cared for over time. This is a book about the female body and what adorns it, what is bought and given away in so many forms.

– Julie Brooks Barbour, Connotation Press

In the larger context of the book, Wiseman gently–and quite effectively–pushes the idea that women are not simply a trophy or beautiful bobble. Women are more than their breasts…Deskins’ vibrant art work throughout really makes the collection come together. I love the prettiness of the book, each page offering something relevant that adds to the text.

– Julie Larson, Blot Lit Reviews