Wendell recently received Mercer University's Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature. According to the release, this prize was "first awarded in 2012, is named for the 19th-century Southern poet born in Macon. Lanier wrote The Song of the Chattahoochee and The Marshes of Glynn. Using his name recognizes Middle Georgia’s literary heritage and long, often complicated, tradition of writing about the South. The prize is awarded to writers who have engaged and extended that tradition."
Here's a brief excerpt from his acceptance speech.