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poetic journey through the beginning phases of the Sixth Sun, the Aquarian Age, and the New World in an attempt to shed outdated belief systems, dismantle the oppressive structures of the past, and bring to light that which serves the greater good.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 has a B.A. in English and an M.Ed. in Cross-Cultural Education. Diosa X is a Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Instructor and a student of Nahualismo. Diosa first published her poetry back in high school in her alma mater’s bilingual literary magazine, Las Voces. 

She 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

*Spectrum 31’s Spring 2022 Collection

*Los Angeles Poet Society’s online anthology: Love Letters to 2022

*Los Angeles Poetry Society’s printed anthology: Reflesh

*Synchronized Chaos’s online & interdisciplinary journal

*Praxinoscope’s anthology: Hours of the Day

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

*La Otra Fil: Mil Mujeres

*Clubhouse’s Dark Side of the Truth

*Muzeo’s Poetic Voices

*Latinas in Hollywood: Herstories

*Boca de Oro: Poesía en Movimiento and Golden Thread

*Tersoro Invitational

*Centro Cultural de Mexico’s Dia de las Mujeres

*Poetik LA

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

*Floricanto’s Peña Cultural

*Festival Internacional Ignacio Rodríguez Galván

*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

*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

*Legacy Publications: Noche de Vino y Libros

*Holy Grounds Coffee and Tea: Sacred Heart Poetry Wall

*A Corazón Abierto Art Exhibit

In 2022, Diosa participated and won Chicago’s only Spanish-language slam, Slam Diaspora, 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. 

This poet has facilitated poetry workshops held in collaboration between the Sims Library and the Los Angeles Public Library; Tumblewords Project; Contracorriente: Cruce de poesía y transgresión, a binational women writers retreat in Ixtapa, Mexico; and will be hosting workshops in both English and Spanish for the City of Ontario’s Ovitt Library in 2023; as well as presenting a workshop in Spanish at the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival in 2023.

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

She currently lives in her self-made sanctuary, which she endearingly calls, Rancho Paraíso de las Diosas, located in sunny Southern California.


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

~Adriana Citlali Brenes-Ríos

Photograph by Stacy Soriano Photography