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Texas State University

Rewards of a Restless Journey

Sam Shepard: Rewards of a Restless Journey

Whether you know him as a one of America’s greatest living playwrights or an accomplished film star, Sam Shepard is an icon among literary and Hollywood legends. His inspiration as a playwright, actor, director, screenwriter and musician is fueled by a free-spirited lifestyle that he says keeps him "dreaming of the open road," ready to "wander into some adventure."

Shepard’s creative process and the restless, unconventional energy he brings to his work can be explored at the Wittliff Collections, a research archive and museum dedicated to the Southwest’s literary and photographic arts in the Albert B. Alkek Library at Texas State University. His insights and character are revealed in hundreds of handwritten notes and letters, and drafts of his stories and plays, often in densely filled notebooks. This significant archive showcases a passionate artist who lives life on his own terms.

Sam Shepard
Driving to Texas (1977) by Johnny Dark

Sam Shepard's prolific career

  • Playwright: 52 plays including Buried Child and True West
  • Author: 7 books including 2 Prospectors
  • Actor: 61 films including The Right Stuff
  • Director: 10 plays and 2 films including Simpatico and Far North
  • Screenwriter: 12 films including Paris, Texas

Rising Star - Chad Hammett

Chad Hammett is the editor of Two Prospectors: The Letters of Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark. He was also the co-curator of The Writer’s Road, a special exhibit featuring selections from Shepard's archive at the Wittliff in 2013.