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Damien Willis
Works at Las Cruces Sun-News
Lives in Las Cruces, NM
579 followers|231,000 views


Damien Willis

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"Difficult takes a day,
Impossible takes a week..."
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Damien Willis

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On tomorrow's episode of "Saturday Club," we cover a Bill Clinton rally in New Mexico and talk about the stupefying new changes at Tribune Publishing, which owns the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune.

Remember, new episodes are released each Tuesday, and downloading is FREE! Subscribe in iTunes and bookmark today! #Podcast   #Journalism   #Media  
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Damien Willis

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‪#‎ICYMI‬: In the premiere episode of the brand new Saturday Club podcast, photojournalist Jett Loe and reporter Damien Willis cover a Bernie Sanders rally in Southern New Mexico, and talk about how journalists are using Facebook Live and Snapchat as reporting tools.

The first two episodes are already available, and the third will drop on Tuesday. Check out the new show, subscribe for free in iTunes, and learn more at!

[You can also listen on the web, or download MP3s directly for FREE, at] #Podcast   #Journalism   #Media  
For the inaugural episode of Saturday Club journalists Damien Willis and Jett Loe meet up with presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders in Vado, NM and discuss amongst themselves the potential of new ways of producing and delivering the news in the 21st century. Recorded May 21, 2016. Saturday Club on iTunes Direct Download
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Damien Willis

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[an otherwise untitled pome]

Our time was brief
Like the tart taste of communion wine
Grapefruit's bitter aftertaste
The flare of wasabi
The pop of a flashbulb
Dilation of pupils
The fear of a fishtail
Recovered from
On a winding country road.

Brief, but cotton candy, raspberry jam Sweet
Goodnight kiss sweet
Like a winning lottery ticket
Sweet, like late spring's honeysuckle nectar,
Sweet, like holding hands in a hospital,
Dalai Lama sweet, rice pudding sweet.

When you left
I started sleeping through sunrise,
Stepping on sidewalk cracks,
Obeying street signs.

It would be nice to have you back.
I miss speeding,
And the creeping pink of daybreak.

~D. Willis
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Damien Willis

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When you see me by myself, don't get it twisted... I AM my team.
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Damien Willis

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Chef Thierry Marceaux owns Le Rendez-vous Cafe in Las Cruces. Ten years ago, however, he was the executive pastry chef at the legendary Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans, a block off Bourbon Street.

I sat down and visited with Thierry yesterday for more than an hour, exactly ten years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. We talked about the looting, the week he was stranded in the hotel, and the death and destruction he witnessed as he prepared three meals a day for the hotel's 200 guests who had no place to go. (Some of the wealthier ones used their cell phones to call private helicopter companies to evacuate them.)

We also talked about how he ended up buying a restaurant in Las Cruces, which is frequently described as a "hidden gem," or a "local treasure."

His is a tremendous story, and conveys a degree of chaos, lawlessness and panic that America hasn't seen in recent history. "The city was out of control," he told me. "Jewelry stores, Gucci stores, French designers — they were all looted. A policeman was shot outside the hotel. It was very dangerous. People were wading through the streets, holding huge flat-screen TVs above their heads."

I hope you'll read the story. #HurricaneKatrina   #TenYearsLater   #Reporting   #Journalism   #NewOrleans   #LasCruces   #NewMexico   #NMTrue  
LAS CRUCES >> It's been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina — but don't call it an anniversary, because it's nothing to celebrate.
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Thank you are memento
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Damien Willis

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Great shot from Raton, NM...
The story behind the photo:  A glowing sunrise coming up over this mountain range near Raton, New Mexico caused Dad to slam on the breaks and scramble to get his camera out in time to take this picture.  He knew he had the beginnings of a great Old West photo.

When he got home, Dad located the other “part” of the photo.  He’d photographed Red Wolverton’s stagecoach as a silhouette near Tucson, Arizona.  He smoothly blended the mountains and the stagecoach to create a new eye-catching piece of Old West art.

#sunrise   #stagecoach   #newmexico   #oldwest   #westernphotography   #arizona   #photoshop   #horses  
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The front page of tomorrow's +The Boston Globe: "Make It Stop." #GunControl #Media 
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In Episode Two of "Saturday Club," Jett travels to Albuquerque and gets caught up in a mob-scene at a Donald Trump campaign stop, while our Saturday is spent at a couple of local wine festivals. We talk about The New York Times' strategies to survive the print-to-digital transition, whenever it may come.
The show is available in iTunes as a free download, with new episodes released every Tuesday. Check it out and tell a friend about us! #Podcast   #Journalism   #Media  
Join reporters, writer Damien Willis and photographer Jett Loe, as they visit competing wine festivals and talk about Donald Trump as well as the changing nature of the New York Times Newsroom. Recorded May 28, 2016 Saturday Club on iTunes Direct Download Links: The New York Times of the future is beginning to take shape Gallery of Trump Photos Call to Action: For weary rank-and-filers at the Los Angeles Times, a survivor’...
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Damien Willis

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So, here it is... The OFFICIAL launch of our new podcast. I've teamed up with my buddy, photojournalist +Jett Loe, to examine the rapidly-changing landscape of media. From print and digital to virtual reality, new innovations in storytelling are being implemented all the time.

The show, "Saturday Club," is loosely-based upon our weekly adventures. However, we tend to look more broadly at the national landscape, and the role social media platforms will likely play in how you stay connected with what's happening in the world.

You can check it out, and find a link to subscribe in iTunes, at We've got the first two episodes already up. It's free to download, and new episodes will be released every Tuesday.episodes released every Tuesday. Check it out and tell a friend about us!
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‪#‎MyLatest‬: "Deebo met his match," said 'Tiny' Lister, upon meeting 9-year-old Dasani Clarke of Las Cruces. He told me this is the first time the character actor and retired professional wrestler has ever been to Las Cruces.

"The people are really nice, and so many of them know the characters that I've played in movies — 'The Dark Knight,' 'The Fifth Element,' and most of all, everyone has been talking about Deebo from 'Friday,'" he said.

Read my story about today's Las Cruces Comic Con here:

(Photo: Jett Loe — Las Cruces Sun-News)

#TinyLister   #Deebo   #Actors   #Friday   #ComicCon   #LasCruces   #AngelBatista   #DavidZayas   #ComicCulture   #ComicBooks   #Cosplay  
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Damien Willis

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Yesterday, I was up before dawn. I hiked up Tortugas Mountain to become one of the first journalists ever to witness a 500-year-tradition. It was an honor to be welcomed as the Tortugas Pueblo anointed a new Cacique — the tribe's Chief and spiritual leader. Henry Narvaez, who has held the position for more than twenty years, passed it down to his 39-year-old son, Patrick, in an emotional ceremony atop Tortugas Mountain.

This was the first time in the tribe's history that a reporter has been invited to the event, and it was truly a privilege to be asked to participate. As the leaves of a creosote bush burned in a sacred, ceremonial fire nearby, we witnessed the passing of the torch — and the future of the tribe. Both father and son described the moment as "bittersweet." Both wept.

I hope you'll read the story. It's a moment in my journalistic career I won't soon forget. #Tortugas   #TortugasPueblo   #NativeAmerican   #Traditions   #Reporting   #Journalism   #NewMexico   #NMTrue   #LasCruces  
TORTUGAS PUEBLO >> Patrick Narvaez became the cacique (spiritual leader) of La Corporacion de los Indigenes de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in a special blessing ceremony held Saturday on
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Reporter, Journalist & Columnist - Former Radio Program Director, Music Director & DJ - Freelance Writer & Copyeditor - Community Organizer
Writing - Radio Programming - Music Selection & Scheduling - Commercial Production - Editing - Marketing - Team Building
  • Las Cruces Sun-News
    Education Reporter, 2015 - present
    I am the Education reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. My beat includes Las Cruces Public Schools, the Gadsden Independent School District, Dona Ana Community College and New Mexico State University. I also do Feature reporting from on occasion.
  • #Inspired Mornings: Las Cruces
    Founder, 2013 - present
    Our goal is to bring together CREATIVE TYPES in Las Cruces, NM, across ALL disciplines. Whether you're a writer, graphic/visual artist, director, producer, musician, designer, actor, photographer, fashion designer, etc., we NEED you!
  • GETright Copy
    Owner & Personal Author, 2009 - present
    I am the owner of GETright Copy, a multifaceted service for the music and entertainment industries. Primarily, I write artist bios and provide copyediting services. Recently, however, we have also taken on some radio commercial production projects, as well as television voiceover work.
  • Las Cruces (NM) Sun-News
    Entertainment Columnist, 2004 - present
    Each week, I write a 500-600 word column which appears in "Pulse," the weekly entertainment tabloid in the Las Cruces (NM) Sun-News. Topics are of my choosing, and have ranged from the death of Norman Mailer to the role of the grill in a man's life. I have written about The Game's beef with 50 Cent, have interviewed Marlon Brando's best friend, have interviewed Krayzie Bone and written profile pieces on Buddy Guy, Hunter S. Thompson, Don Imus, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, Ana Castillo, The Imagine Peace Tower and more.
  • KHQT-FM (Hot 103)
    Program Director/Music Director/Afternoon DJ, 2001 - 2014
    I was responsible for all on-air programming for KHQT-FM (Hot 103), from talent development & coaching to brand management and station promotions. I selected and scheduled the music that we played on the station, and maintained the music library. I also hosted the station's afternoon show, weekdays from 3p-7p.
Basic Information
Award-Winning Newpaper Reporter & Columnist / Former Radio Program Director, Music Director & DJ / Freelance Writer, Copyeditor & Proofreader / Community Organizer

I am a creative person, still searching for a medium. I am a passionate and proficient writer, and am slowly learning photography and design. I'm interested in typography, psychology, and etymology.

Somehow, these passions have led me to a 13-year career "on-the-air," and my writing has found a longtime home in the pages of the Las Cruces Sun-News. I've emceed numerous clubs and concerts, interviewed President Barack Obama (and First Lady Michelle), and scores of celebrities--some of whom I'm fortunate to count as friends. 

Still, I seek more. I'm always looking for ways to add more. I want to write more. I want to voice and produce more commercials for a larger audience. I want to learn everything I can, and put it to good use.

I want to give back to my community more. I want to organize more charity events, and build communities of writers and artists and photographers and musicians. I want to leave behind a dramatically better world for future generations. 

My objective is to stay busy, and to make the world a better place through my efforts, both at work and play. And to never stop learning.

Bragging rights
Former Program Director, 13+ Years On The Same Afternoon Shift, 550+ Consecutive Weekly Columns (Without Missing A Deadline), New Mexico Broadcaster Association DJ Personality Of The Year (2005), Las Cruces Sun-News Reader's Choice Award (Local Newspaper Columnist 2012), Las Cruces Young Professional of the Month (September 2014), Southern New Mexico PRIDE Media Advocate of the Year (2014), Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - Executive Marketing Committee, Las Cruces Press Women - Secretary
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Las Cruces, NM
Albuquerque, NM - Fort Sumner, NM
Damien Willis's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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