What’s in a Name?

Adriana Citlali Brenes-Rios is the writer behind the pen name Diosa Xochiquetzalcóatl. The name Diosa means “Goddess” in Spanish and Xochiquetzalcóatl comes from the Nahuatl language. The name itself has many meanings, depending on how one wants to divide the three-word compilation. Xochiquetzal is known as the Mexica deity of fertility, sexuality, and pregnancy, whereas cóatl means “snake.” Xochitl means “flower,” whereas Quetzalcóatl is the Mexica deity of wind, motion, and wisdom. If we take the name and break it down into its three words, we have: xochitl, meaning “flower;” quetzal, meaning “bird;” and cóatl, meaning “snake”—collectively, the “blossoming of spiritual enlightenment.” Either way, Adriana Citlali resonates with all of these, and as thus, takes you on a poetic journey through the beginning phases of the Sixth Sun, the Aquarian Age, and the New World in an attempt to shed outdated belief systems, dismantle the oppressive structures of the past, and bring to light that which serves the greater good.

About the Author

Diosa Xochiquetzalcóatl, or Diosa X for short, is a multilingual and multidimensional Xicana, Indigenous, MeXicana poetiza. She is a seasoned language arts educator with a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Cross-Cultural Education, as well as a Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Instructor and a student of Nahualísmo. Diosa X has been writing since her preteen years, first publishing her poems in her high school’s bilingual literary magazine, Las Voces. But it wasn’t until adulthood that she began to participate in open mics at Tia Chuchas and Tonalli Studios; and it was then that she recommitted to her poetry and finally embraced her life as a poet, and eventually, author.

In 2022, Diosa participated and won Chicago’s only Spanish-language slam, Slam Diáspora, which sent her, in partnership with the Fiesta Literaria de la las Periferias (FLUP) to the continental tournament, Abya Yala: Copa América de Poetry Slam in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prior to this experience, she also competed in the 2017 CABE Conference Spoken Word Competition, tying for first. Most recently, Diosa X became the RGVIPF’s first slam champion in 2023.  

This poet has facilitated poetry workshops in English, Spanish, and bilingually for the Sims Library/Los Angeles Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program; Tumblewords Project; Contracorriente: Cruce de poesía y transgresión, a binational women writers retreat in Ixtapa, Mexico; Ovitt Library in the city of Ontario; the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival; and the La Raza Youth Empowerment Conference at LA Mission College.

Diosa Xochiquetzalcóatl is a proud member the international women’s poetry troupe, Tesoro at https://firesingers.com/; California Poets in the Schools as a poet-teacher at https://www.californiapoets.org/; Circulo de Poetas and Writers at https://circulowriters.com/, CABE, and Inlandia.

Diosa X has been published in both English and Spanish in the following:

*Hispanic LA’s online magazine

*Centro Cultural de Mexico’s Antología Poética: Artivismo

*Pisces Publishing’s Anthology: Once Upon a Poem

*Four Feathers Press’s Anthology: Scenes of California, Vol. 2 – Poetry of Places

*Four Feathers Press’s Anthology: Sensual Southern California – Erotic Poetry

*Four Feathers Press’s Anthology: Top 30 Bards of Southern California

*Spectrum 31’s Spring 2022 Collection

*Los Angeles Poet Society’s Online Anthology: Love Letters to 2022

*Los Angeles Poetry Society’s Anthology: Reflesh

*Synchronized Chaos’s Online & Interdisciplinary Journal

*Praxinoscope’s anthology: Zodiacs of the Year & Hours of the Day

*Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival’s Anthology: Boundless

*Xinachtli Journal’s 3rd Edition of Journal X

*Revista Raíces

*Los Angeles Press: Volume 8

*The Collective Consciousness Magazine

Diosa X has been a featured guest/reader for the following:

*Panamanian International & East LA Film Festival’s Take 2 Spoken Word

*Los Angeles Poet Society

*Pomona Art Walk

*Sims Library

*Cafe con Libros

*La Otra Fil: Mil Mujeres

*Clubhouse’s Dark Side of the Truth

*Muzeo’s Poetic Voices: Holiday Edition

*Latinas in Hollywood: Herstories

*Boca de Oro, 2022 & 2023

*Tersoro Invitational

*Centro Cultural de Mexico’s Dia de las Mujeres

*Poetik LA

*Saturday Afternoon Poets

*Praxinoscope: Signs of the Zodiac, Hours of the Day, and Artist Talk

*Floricanto’s Peña Cultural

*Festival Internacional de Poesía Ignacio Rodríguez Galván 2022 & 2023

*California Poets in the Schools

*Brenda Vaca’s Friday Fire Artist Talk

*2 Mexicanas Norteadas Podcast

*KPFK: Suplemento Comunitario

*City of Ontario’s Ovitt Library

*Alas de Mariposa, 2022 & 2023

*Fullerton Museum Center

*The Neutra Art Gallery

*The Post Up at Casa Verde hosted by Brenda Vaca

*Dulce Stein’s Feria de las Flores

*The Lunar Market

*Cal Poets

*FUFMA Poets and Writers Live

*Legacy Publications: Noche de Vino y Libros

*Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea: Sacred Heart Poetry Wall

*A Corazón Abierto Art Exhibit

*Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival

*Slam Diáspora

*Slam Abya Yala

*Centro de Creación Literaria Xavier Villaurrutia


*Museo del Telégrafo

*Goddess Mercado

*Hijas Chingonas de Inmigrantes @ Re/Arte

*The Word is Write: Most Mondays Erotic Open Mic

*The Word is Write: Double Feature Open Mic

*Infinite Poets Fundraiser

*RUSD’s Multicultural Fair

*Wrightwood Arts and Wine Festival

May we always continue to seek the light in the darkest moments of our journey.

~Adriana Citlali Brenes-Ríos

Photograph by Stacy Soriano Photography