The City Art Reading Series, a popular weekly poetry event staged on a shoestring budget, usually has to cut corners just to field a slate of good readers.

So it's nice when the series manages to land a plum.And this is plum week for City Art and director Sandy Anderson.

Diane Wakowski, one of the most popular and provocative voices in American poetry, will put in an appearance on the City Art stage on Thursday, June 4, 7:30 p.m. at the Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, 175 South 700 East.

Since the publication of "Coins and Coffins" in 1962 - her first chapbook - Wakowski has produced a body of verse that traces the history of alternative poetry in America. Along with Charles Bukowski, she was one of the original writers to be published by the legendary Black Sparrow Press. And during the '60s and '70s, her sharp, no-nonsense verse and readings were so well-received she was one of the few American poets actually able to make ends meet by writing verse.

Her most recent effort is a four-volume series of poems called "The Archaeology of Movies and Books." The last volume, "Argonaut Rose," was released in January.

Over the years Wakowski has been a strident voice for gender politics and has been chided for her "anti-male" stance. Yet she has risen above all categories to produce work that is both thoughtful and expansive.

Writing in the Hudson Review, critic and poet Haydn Carruth says of her work, "Wakowski has a way of beginning her poems with the most unpromising materials imaginable, then carrying them on, often on and on and on, talkily, until at the end they come into surprising focus."

She has served as a visiting writer at a dozen colleges and universities, including the University of Virginia and the California Institute of Technology.

For more information on the reading call 277-1510.