David A. Todd ’74

Engineer by Day, Poet by Night

David Todd quips that he is a civil engineer by profession, a genealogist by avocation, an environmentalist by choice, and a writer by passion. He grew up in Rhode Island, attended public schools in Cranston, and majored in engineering at URI.

By day, Todd is a corporate trainer at CEI Engineering Associates in Bentonville, Ark., who frequently gives seminars on environmental engineering topics. He has been a corporate trainer for six years and has been with CEI for 20 years. He previously worked for engineering firms in Kansas City, Saudi Arabia, North Carolina, Kuwait, and Boston.

In his leisure time, Todd wrote Documenting America: Lessons from the United States’ Historical Documents, a book that blends U.S. history with politics. It’s available from CreateSpace (an Amazon company) and as an e-book from Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

As Todd’s Web site, davidatodd.com, attests, since he began to write creatively about 10 years ago, he has completed one novel, Doctor Luke’s Assistant, a fictional telling of the writing of the Gospel of Luke (available as an Amazon Kindle book) and begun a second, In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People, a baseball thriller.

He has also published nine poems and written a newspaper column and feature articles for a local weekly. His work has appeared in nine print publications and two on-line publications.

Todd has written about 200 poems. One of his sonnets, with some resonance in Rhode Island, explores his disappointment on learning that the bivalves he happily dug as a boy and called quahogs were actually clams. On a more serious note, another sonnet deals with the painful distance between the overheard chatter of funeral guests and the isolation and sadness of a boy whose mother has just died.

Todd has also experimented with cinquains (five line poems) such as the following poem:

An Old Man’s Amazement


Tug me along,

Distracted and amazed.

Do I hear right? Beauty dances

With me?

— Sally Adams ’66, M.A.‘68