Born: Established: 27 Jun 1921 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 2 Nov 1965 Sydney, New South Wales,
Lex Banning, who had cerebral palsy, edited Arna, the Arts Society magazine at Sydney University, during the late 1940s, as well as two other university publications. After graduation from Sydney University he worked as a freelance journalist, a writer for film and radio, book reviewer for The Sydney Morning Herald, and the librarian at the Mosman Spastic Centre (1954-1962). He was a significant influence on the Sydney literati of his day. Renowned for his spare and incisive style, and passionate outlook, he published several volumes of poems, Everyman His Own Hamlet (1951), The Instant's Clarity (1952), and Apocalypse in Springtime (1956).
His published and unpublished poems were revived by the 1987 publication There Was a Crooked Man: The Poems of Lex Banning, which included a biographical memoir of Banning by Richard Appleton and an introduction to the poetry by Alex Galloway.
A column in the Sydney Morning Herald on the day following his death (3 November 1965) noted that Banning, 'always a precise, perceptive poet', developed in his later work 'an economy which emphasised the astringency of his sardonic wit'.
Major sources: The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature, 2nd ed. (1994); Penguin Book of Australian Verse (1958)