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Minds of the Press, Vol. 4

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

Mike and Rita Tortorello of Pegana Press

In 2009, after a decade of dreaming and contemplating, Mike Tortorello launched Pegana Press with a beautiful broadside of Lord Dunsany's Rhymes From a Suburb. This would set the tone for works to come as he focused on some of the earliest weird fiction writers like H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and of course, Lord Dunsany. In 2012, Mike's wife Rita joined the team to become the binder for Pegana Press, bringing a refined sensibility to the design of their projects. If you are even a casual fan of weird fiction, Pegana is absolutely a press to follow. We are so excited to be able to share our conversation with Mike and Rita. It is an honor to have this veteran duo be a part of our series here at the Collectible Book Vault.

Q: This will be our first interview with a husband-and-wife duo, which is really exciting! What did the first conversation about Pegana Press look like between the two of you? Was it collaborative and slowly evolving or something one of you came up with suddenly?

Rita: It took a long time between the inception of the idea and the day Mike unpacked the press. We were having a random conversation one night and Mike was telling me that he had worked for the local newspaper when he was in high school. He was telling me about all the steps involved in printing a newspaper, which was his actual job there.